Voting by mail

One of the most important storylines of this election was the battle over voter suppression, and in some states early voting hours were curbed, leading to unusually long lines at the polls on Election Day. Stories, photos, and videos of voters standing in line for hours to vote were disturbing. The requirement to get away from work to visit a polling place and spend an unknown and potentially long time away from your job is a disproportionate penalty on the working class, especially those who can't afford such a long break away from work. Trying to get to their polls after a long workday, many were left standing in lines stretching down the block.

This thread at Quora on how to increase voter participation in the U.S. has some intriguing suggestions. For example, Oregon votes entirely by mail, and their voter participation rate in 2008 was 86%, far above the national average of 57%.

I voted by mail this year, and it's really convenient. In particular, it was helpful to be able to go online to research all the propositions, most of which are deceptively marketed in the official election literature. Many of the propositions are loaded with loopholes and traps, but you wouldn't know it from the innocuous way they're described.