A copy of the State of Alaska Official Ballot for the June 11, 2022, Special Primary Election is photographed on May 2, 2022. (Peninsula Clarion staff)

A copy of the State of Alaska Official Ballot for the June 11, 2022, Special Primary Election is photographed on May 2, 2022. (Peninsula Clarion staff)

Voices of the Peninsula: In search of a witness

” … then I got to the part where it said I needed a witness to watch me sign my return envelope.”

  • By Alex Koplin
  • Wednesday, June 1, 2022 10:53pm
  • Opinion

By Alex Koplin

I did it! I finally voted. It took me a painstakingly long time to figure out who to vote for and I did it. I mean there were 48 candidates, I had to go study and I did. I researched them all. Of course, it was easy to eliminate many of them because they were very clear on where they stood.

My civic duty complete. My voice matters. I am important! But then I got to the part where it said I needed a witness to watch me sign my return envelope. Would this ever end? Easy peasy, right? Well, I used to think so.

My wife decided it was time to visit some family after our COVID hibernation, so she left on a long overdue trip to visit family in the Lower 48. No problem. I had lots of people to go to. The problem is that I still am trying to avoid people and when I do see them, I am not talking about voting. My grandkids came over the other day to visit, and when my daughter came to pick them up — well, you guessed it — I forgot to ask her to watch me sign the envelope. Truth be told, I was so exhausted from our wonderful visit that I just plain forgot.

No problem. I would go knock on my neighbor’s door. But then I felt sort of foolish and then I would have a long-drawn-out conversation and, well, you know.

I was feeling pretty discouraged as I had a ton of things to do and I just needed this one witness signature. And then it came to me — I needed to invite Ryan over. I’ve known Ryan since he was a knee-high grasshopper and I thought since he just graduated from high school, how cool would it be for him to be my witness? So, Ryan came over yesterday and was very excited to sign as my witness. I actually went over to Ulmer’s to buy a fancy pen for him, so he could remember this moment. It occurred to me to ask him at the last moment how old he was. He said, “Alex, you know my birthday is coming up June 12.

“No!” I gasped. I told him I had forgotten, and told him that I was going to give him his birthday gift early so I handed him the $10 dollar pen I had just bought. I explained to him that to witness my signature he had to be 18, as I had assumed (as we know the saying for when you assume). So I was back on the elusive signature trail.

And the beat goes on. I know I will find someone, but it isn’t as easy as I would have thought. Remember to vote, and get your ballot in by Friday, June 10 because the post office closes at 2 p.m. in Homer on Saturday.

Alex Koplin has lived on the Kenai Peninsula for 34 years.

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