Saturday, 10 October 2015

Elections Canada Cock-Up - Six times slower

You've seen Canada-wide reports of long lineups for the early bird polls.  It's an enormous cock-up brought on by Elections Canada rule changes.  A poll worker told me that last election, 30 seconds would advance one voter but now it's three minutes.  That's a six-fold reduction in efficiency for a phantasmagorical gain in security.  Yesterday my aunt stood in line for three hours.  An older neighbour drove to the poll station three times Friday and five times Saturday before giving up and joining the line up.  Since I had to vote early, I picked a quiet time on Saturday and stood in line for an hour and a half.  Thirty people managed to vote in that time.

If your car put out one sixth of normal power, you'd have it towed to a mechanic.  How can you tow Elections Canada anywhere?  I've never in my life heard anyone talk about illegal voting in Canada and never in my life have I for a moment thought there were dirty tricks in the polling booth I attended.   How can this new layer of handwritten copying and a rule that the voter ahead must  vote and leave before you can check in  be justified?  How can this possibly be that you are not allowed to check in before the person ahead has finished and left.   Fast food drive-throughs have had this figured out for half a century.  You check in at one location and do your at a second station.

If we were talking about our American neighbours, this would make more sense.  Many jurisdictions ask for no ID,  there are stuffed ballot boxes,  dead people voting,  out-of-date voting rolls that let people vote from two different addresses, entire precincts in Philadelphia that vote 100% for one candidate only.  We're not America, thank God.

Unfortunately, we are what we are.  The polling booths I heard about near Victoria had only one ballot box and the same complaint.  If you're lucky, come October 19th there will be six times more staff manning the ballot boxes than last time.  Keep Hoping.  And do vote.
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/early-bird-voters-incensed-by-long-waits-new-rules-1.2082629

5 comments:

  1. Meta - have been scrutineers for several elections and we were warned about "dirty tricks" at the ballot box. Never saw them at our polling station, but then also recognized a fair few of the voters as our neighbours.

    However, do understand there have been issues in other riding when would-be voters turn up with inadequate documentation to prove they are 1) entitled to vote and 2) actually reside in the riding where they wish to vote. So I understand that proper identification of voters is required. Unfortunately, too many voters head for the polls with no or minimal identification. The 'American' problems you cite do turn up in our bigger cities, whether we like it or not. For some, politics is a blood sport.

    The Elections Canada voter registration cards don't help: ours were addressed to ourselves OR "to the Elector". That's not going to help the poll clerk when we show up with those cards. Actually, they've been deemed non-admissible evidence of a voter's address or eligibility.

    Quite apart from Elections Canada failings, I put a fair bit of blame on the attempt to use the T1 tax form to provide a voter registration base. As one who does taxes in season, I can certify that many addresses on the T1 have no relation to the taxpayer's actual residence. Take the student/couch surfer: that kid is using parents' address to ensure actually gets communications from CRA, not to mention GST cheques. And said parents may not even be in the same province. What matters to me when doing those returns is that the client has a "safe" address so notices from CRA won't disappear in the "undeliverable" mail slot, only to be resurrected when it is realized issues arising have not been addressed. And I haven't even begun to talk about those who move between T1 returns.

    So, we're stuck with the identification and residence issues. But only one ballot box - that's Elections Canada playing politics and hoping you won't vote.

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  2. Given the fact that Elections Canada has done everything they could in the last number of years to negatively impact the Conservative Party, is it possible this is a "work to rule" campaign. By delaying, and causing slowdowns, people blame Harper. Elections Canada knows they will have an easy ride under Trudeau or Mulcair, as both of them have colluded with Elections Canada for a number of years.

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  3. We voted in a small town in rural MB. Our wait 40 minutes with only six people ahead of us. The pollers were clearly disorganized and seemed unfamiliar with the forms and voter lists they had. The main problem was that the person writing down our address etc was so elderly, slow & almost blind that it just about made my eyes bleed watching her. A lot of grumbling and eye rolling, but everyone chuckled when some one made the comment that we could had got through right away had we worn a burka. Of course our biased State Broadcaster & CTV is full blown ape shit selling this as voter suppression and fraud by the Conservatives.

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  4. It's amazing how different people's experiences are. I voted in Winnipeg. yesterday afternoon. The place was dead. I was literally the only voter in the place, the ID check was quick and painless, and one new voter entered just as I was leaving.

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  5. As stated, it's likely Elections Canada playing politics with Pierre Poilievre's Citizen Voting Act.

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