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Ballots by mail. Automatic registration. Now, prepaid return ballots for $3 million a year.

What next: UPS pickup? Facebook? Smartphone? Hand delivery and assistance in marking the ballot?

Voting is a not only a right, but an honor and a privilege. It is a duty and an obligation to ensure the freedoms that we enjoy.

We should not have to plead, beg, or cajole citizens to perform their duty to this nation.

Worse, they perform little due diligence prior to voting.

Their complacency, sloth, apathy, and indifference have stolen my Norman Rockwell moment as we pander to their indolence . . . the sun rising on a cold November morn as I walked from my home, with steam from my coffee clouding the brisk air, to the place where the voting machines and volunteers awaited my arrival.

I’d bring cookies in appreciation of those who ensured the day went smoothly. After voting for the candidates that I had thoroughly vetted and believed to be the best, I’d receive the “ I Voted” sticker; a label I wore with honor.

How can one not experience the joy and satisfaction of participating in one of the greatest gifts they have ever been given?

My solace now is the button I wear the day after an election: “You cannot complain if you did not vote!”

Richard A. Virant, Bothell