Main Street, downtown Geraldton

Main Street, downtown Geraldton

I VOTED ALREADY! The Advance Poll is open, folks. The Geraldton poll is shown in the photo, located next to Popeye’s.
I joined the lineup at mid-day (Friday, October 9). A gentleman ahead of me ran into a problem – hey, that’s normal – we’re dealing with Elections Canada here!
He had no voter registration card, the one most of us have received in the mail. He said, But everybody here knows me!
Just kidding around, a friend of his said, Yeah, his name is Paul.
Just for the record, his name is not Paul. And he’s lived here all his life, some 50 years.
This guy not-named-Paul had reached only the first registration desk (Yes, there is more than one registration desk. Why, I don’t know).
The registrar asked him if he had ID. Well, yeah, but not the one he needed. So his kidder friend ‘fessed up, and said she knew his real name, and would witness for him. A witness at a poll is called an “attester”. So, after a lot of fiddling around and shuffling and scribbling, not-named-Paul was allowed to proceed to the second registration desk. His friend followed him to “attest” for him.
Okay, a couple more people passed this first desk, and then it was my turn. I presented my voter registration card. But . . . that was not enough. I had to produce ID. Just so you know, if you present a single piece of ID, it has to be a government-issued card with your name, your photo, and your current address. A driver’s licence will do fine.
I passed the first desk, and lined up behind not-named-Paul and his attester.
Just so you know, if your voter registration card has your name spelled wrong, or your address wrong, you’re up that proverbial creek without a dipstick.
Why Elections Canada has bothered to provide voter registration cards, I don’t know – they’re just one more thing that can hold up a line.
Not-named-Paul and what’s-her-name were fiddling around and shuffling and sighing and groaning as the registrars at the second desk scribbled away, creating loads of paperwork which, as we all know, government agencies love.
Finally. Finally it was my turn. I had to produce my voter registration card again. I had to produce my ID again. I mumbled something about having done all that already, but my protest fell on deaf ears. After more scribbling on their part, and after I had scribbled my name on a document (and I hope I have not inadvertently disinherited my children), I got my ballot.
At that point, I was prepared to sell that ballot to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, a dozen or so people had lined up behind me.
Now, the people running the poll are folks I know and love. They were just following the rules. They were, as always, courteous and competent. Let us remember that the rules have been made in Ottawa, and that explains a lot.
I am providing a link to an Elections Canada document which spells out the kinds of ID the polls will accept (http://bit.ly/1P4rrns). I have already described the one-piece ID requirement. A second method requires two pieces of ID which, together,give your name and current address. The third and last method requires an attester. And I learned by listening (not by reading it anywhere) that the attester has to be from the same poll number as you.
To confuse the issue, the voter registration card (which you don’t have if you’re using Method No. 3) lists two poll numbers: one for Election Day on October 19, and a different one for the Advance Poll. So, good luck.
But, hey, I VOTED! The Advance Poll runs from today to Monday, noon to 8:00 p.m.
I have loads of experience in voting and in campaign participation, so I know that long lineups at Advance Polls are significant. They usually signify an anti-current-government vote. And they also usually mean, if the incumbent MP is not in government, support for the incumbent MP.
Hey, I VOTED! Yippee!

Bruce Hyer, the incumbent MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North

Bruce Hyer, the incumbent MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North

About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website www.WhiskyJackPublishing.ca
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