Campaigning, you may have noticed, has begun for the upcoming election. But I have a hunch you may have already determined how you will vote.  Let me put on my “Crotchety Man” hat and complain about one facet of elections these days. I’ve written before about the old, long gone, pleasures of going to a polling place to cast a ballot. 

There was one strong advantage for such a procedure and that was the supposition that anyone who took time out of their lives to vote had studied the issues on the ballot and made a decision based on personal likes and dislikes. Plus you had a chance to catch up on local gossip with your neighbors.

Today’s method of mailing ballots to the voters takes away the camaraderie — but given the current complication of COVID 19, we are lucky to have the current system already in place. 

At least the ballots here in Lewis County are mailed out only to registered voters and registering is easy to do. Even so, in my mind there are those who now mail in a ballot and who have never studied the issues or the candidates — they just feel they should vote. 

I know, this is America and everyone — at least everyone here in Lewis County — may register to vote. But I wish there was sort of a quiz asking each voter if they understood the effect of approving an initiative or electing a candidate, don’t you? We don’t all listen to talk radio (said he, who initiated such a program on KELA oh, so many years ago.)

Enough of that. Now, on to the “etc” in the headline. There have been a couple of closed caption bloopers on TV lately, two of which were brought about by the recent demonstrations in Seattle.  One was on a commentary lamenting about  “the violets and destruction” and another where the looting became “lewding.” There was a news item about a fire where neighbors assisted in the extinguishing, including one neighbor who “provided a letter.” Oh, yes, and one more where the island community of Coupeville became “Coop full.”

Getting back to elections, I don’t imagine either of the two major candidates for the presidency will announce their choice for vice president until after the primaries, but Biden couldn’t do any better than choosing Michelle Obama. In my book, she has more intelligence and poise than anyone else I’ve heard mentioned. The only downside is that I doubt that she’d even consider accepting.

In a more regional election, my vote for lieutenant governor has already been checked off as going to Denny Heck. I don’t know him as a personal friend, but I can’t forget a day he took several hours out of his regular duty as co-founder and CEO of TVW — the access to what is happening with the legislature in Olympia — to talk to Randy Johnson (no, not the Mariners pitcher) and me about a project of ours to provide local TV programming on channel 3. Most of the equipment was on hand and a vacant house near the transfer station still had room for equipment and a small studio. It was great fun while it lasted — local TV shows put on by local people. I won’t go into why it didn’t last.

Still within the category of elections; this newspaper is currently conducting its annual search for the finest people and businesses in Lewis County. I believe I counted 104 categories to be voted on. There are categories in just about any field and/or category you can think of but, doggone it, there is none for columnists. I’m feeling left out. 

True, there are only four of us regular contributors but we could draw straws each year to determine which of us would take a rain check and be left out of the competition. I promise I would be pleasant, witty and contrite in my acceptance speech, should one ever occur.


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at


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