What a ballot drop box means for Oak Park …

… and American democracy altogether

Oliver Carter, Editor-in-Chief

Fellow Oak Parkians, let August of 2021 be remembered as the month the anchor of democracy permanently settled in the sandy seafloors of our American-loving, God-fearing, unincorporated community of Oak Park, California, the pride of Ventura County. 

Okay, okay … slightly dramatic? Sure. But still! August of 2021 happens to be the month in which, outside of the Oak Park High School library, a ballot drop-off box has been installed for good. But what specifically does this mean for Oak Park, and further yet, American democracy?

You see, enfranchisement has and will forever serve as a linchpin of any functional democracy. The “Vote by Mail Ballot Drop Box” program, in an effort to sustain and encourage such enfranchisement, launched in 2017 as an “initiative to provide voters with a secure alternative option to return their ballot,” according to their website.

Particularly in the past century, voter turnout in the United States of America, whether presidential or gubernatorial, has been frankly pathetic. The numbers make you question whether our country’s denomination of “representative democracy” is erroneous. But alas, Oak Park has been given its chance at providing an accessible, convenient and safe way to vote. 

Whether the voters who chose to vote by means of ballot drop-off boxes are motivated by distrust in the postal system, avoidance of crowded voting stations or concern for ballots being tampered with, the ballot drop-off boxes serve as a simple means of having your voice heard in this presently-turbulent political system. “Inconvenience,” at least for Oak Park residents, is no longer a valid excuse for one’s failure to perform their civic duty.

When a single drop-off ballot box is installed upon the grounds of a high school, a community’s breeding ground for scholarly and political exploration, it signifies one more victory on behalf of the American people and American democracy. 

So, now that Oak Park has been absolutely and undeniably enfranchised, fulfill your moral imperative (that is, if you are legally enabled) and vote already.