Martha and I cast our absentee ballots Saturday for this Tuesday’s primary election in Missouri. We could have mailed them, but decided to vote in person after hearing that four polling places — including one 15 minutes from our house — were open that morning (and will be again today).

As we’d hoped, there were a few fellow citizens also casting early ballots, but we didn’t have to wait long or stand near anyone else. We were happy to see that everyone, official personnel and voters, wore masks.

With the reports that Trump’s new Postmaster General is slowing mail delivery (I wonder why?), we were happy to take care of business in person. We showed our IDs, handed over the absentee ballots we’d received and filled out a couple of weeks ago, and signed the backs. Done! The whole process took maybe five minutes, including filling out forms to request absentee ballots for the general election in November — and we plan on casting those as early as possible, too.

I’m advising everyone I know, regardless of where they live, to do the same. If you can’t vote in person — either on Election Day or earlier — you should still apply for the absentee ballot now that Missouri has joined many other states in allowing you to use one for any reason (including “There’s a pandemic!!”). Then, be sure to send it back with plenty of leeway to ensure it arrives before November 3rd — a mere three months from today.

Yes, every vote counts, but only if it arrives in time.