I went to the advance voting today because I’ll be away during the elections here in Canada. There was about a dozen people in front of me. I thought this would be quick. But the line wasn’t moving at all. There were 3 stations we had to go through. The area for the voting is small and narrow. The stations were tables set up against the wall leading up to the ballot box at the end of this small hallway. All the tables were parallel to the wall. The line up covered the all of the tables. When the line up moved by 1 person. Only the first person in the first station could take on the next person. The other 2 people couldn’t do anything because of the line up in front of them.
The first person looked at my voting card and tried to match it against thick binder. Once she located my name and address, she would carefully cross out my name in the binder. She gave me back my voting card. I couldn’t move because of the line up so I stood in front for another 5 to 10 minutes. At the next station, a man took my card, matched my name against the list of names in his thick binder and crossed it out. He also reviewed the 2 pieces of ID. He then wrote my name and address down on a ledger and asked me to sign it. This took a few more minutes. Then I had to wait for the line to move before I was able to get my ballot. The woman who gave me the ballot asked me if the man beside him already took down my name. I said he did. I can only guess she wasn’t watching. She gave me the ballot and I continued to wait because there was only 1 voting booth.
But thankfully this last step was quick. Once I marked the ballot, I walked back to the previous station and put my ballot into the box. The woman then looked at me and said I was supposed to give it to her first. I stared at her and wondered why she never told me that. She then sigh and said that was ok. I shook my head as I walked out. As I left, I passed the growing line up. Some people were complaining loudly.
I can’t believe in this day and age we have such an inefficient process. A barcode on the voter card, some scanners and a few laptops / iPads would go a long way to streamlining this process. There were 2 people who looked like supervisors. Yet they did nothing to improve the long wait.
It’s probably one of the reasons why people don’t vote. No one likes to line up. It just contributes to the apathy. A low voter turnout probably makes the incumbent government even more entrenched. Despite all of these headaches, mind numbing inefficiencies and madness, I still vote and am thankful that I live in a country that allows elections. I just wish our government and Elections Canada would make it easier and more efficient.