Voting day headache and big bureaucracy
Thrust n' Perry
I didn't vote and it even pisses me off.
On election day, I stopped in the University Community Centre
atrium and asked two pollsters if I could vote on campus. I
mentioned that I didn't live in residence. They said I could.
I had my election card, but I needed proof of address.
No problem, right? I left the stale, rage-inspiring air of
The Gazette office for an hour to bus home and get a piece
of mail. Upon arrival, I was told I could not vote here after
all; my polling station was at some public school I'd never
heard of, back in the north end of the city.
Taking an hour off work to vote is reasonable; but a second
hour? I stayed at my desk, went to my night class and got home
around 10 p.m. - when the polls were long closed.
If I'd read the Web site a little more carefully and a little
further in advance, I would have known I had to transfer my
registration before the actual election day, so I accept some
In conversation with Joel Duff, Ontario chairperson for the
Canadian Federation of Students, I found out the Waterloo and
Windsor university campuses had their returning offices go "out
of their way" to make sure "any student wanting to
vote" could do so at school; by using early enumerations
of voters and moving polling stations closer to campus, as
well as giving their staff the correct information, students
could cast their ballots at their school address free of confusion.
A polling station staffer makes approximately $160 for a one-day
contract and the first two I spoke to didn't even take time
to read my election card. The electoral officer I spoke to
on my second trip advised me, actually checked my card, then
gave me the right information.
Why not allow voting registration to be transferred on election
day from one poll to any other poll? If this is where I live
now, then this is where I vote; but how many people work late
outside of their ridings (even further from their polling stations)?
Kudos to University Students' Council VP-education Dave Ford
and his predecessor, Josh Morgan, for seeing the SmartVote
initiative through; unfortunately, inept government bureaucracy
(triply redundant) has left me disillusioned with the electoral
Voting is a hassle. That said, while I can bitch about the
flaws in the polling process, the responsibility falls to the
voter; I too dropped the ball - and it's going to be a long