A different voting experience

My wife and I voted yesterday.

Yes, it was at the early polls because we won’t be around during the actual voting day. Heads up; I’ll probably won’t be doing original blog posts next week but may just schedule some from the past instead. Hopefully, I won’t mess that up, Aviva.

It’s something that we’ve done together since we married. I didn’t miss an opportunity to vote before that either. It’s always an interesting experience. I also leave every time thinking about how much quicker it would be if done electronically.

The last time we voted, it was actually outside. There was the typical cadre of retired teachers making a few bucks running things and it was one of those Essex County days without a breath of air so we didn’t have to worry about the voting shields blowing over.

With COVID this year, we talked about options. I even looked at voting online like some have and elected not to go that route. I understand the need for security but sending a picture of my driver’s license online didn’t appeal to me. As always, Elections Canada has an incredible website with just about every last detail about voting than you could ever want.

Voting is one thing that we do together every time. We decided to hit the polls early on Friday morning before the rush. We had planned to visit the LCBO anyway. As we drove by the polling place, we realized that we should have set the alarm earlier! There was a huge lineup snaking through the parking lot of the polling place. Well, maybe some other time. The LCBO had no lineup. I guess people have their own priorities.

Sunday night, we were off to walk the dog down by the river, took our voting cards and the parking lot was empty. We did our regular routine and asked “Are you voting for …?” Because if she was, my vote would cancel hers and makes our experience useless. We cracked four windows and went inside.

I was looking forward to visiting the voting place. It was a school purchased from the Catholic school board and the town apparently had put a lot of money modernizing. And, wow, we weren’t disappointed. Sure, it still looked like the brick school house of old but inside, walls had been knocked down, updated fixtures everywhere, and marble on the walls. It’s too bad that all older school buildings couldn’t get this bit of love.

The door was opened by a lady on the inside by pressing the automatic door button. We didn’t even have to touch anything to get in. We were received by two people who wrote down our information and asked for our phone number. I thought that was strange and must have look puzzled because the young lady said “This is just the COVID checkpoint”.

Then, she pointed to the floor down the hall for voting and instructed us to follow the arrows.

Sure enough, there was set of incoming and outgoing arrows that took us to what would have been a kindergarten room or maybe it was two classrooms with the wall knocked down. It was huge and so modern looking. There were two polls there; one on the right with a lineup of about four couples and then ours which was empty. We stepped right up and my wife went first. Her voting registration card and ID was placed on the desk and quickly checked and she got her ballot while I stepped up and did the procedure like an old pro because I had paid attention to what she went through. We were both thanked for bringing our own pencils. We do pay attention.

I’m always thrown just a bit when I look at the ballot. I knew of four candidates for the election but there are always more.

I did go and vote behind the shield but for all it takes and with nobody behind me, I could have just done it standing there but why rob myself of the full experience?

Then, it was a matter of following the arrows down the other side of the hall and the lady pressed the button again so we didn’t have to push the door. I took a complimentary squirt of hand sanitizer because I had touched the ballot and then we were done and out of there.

There were no retired teachers on duty. Maybe it was because of the advanced poll or maybe they’re being more careful about contact with the public. It seemed strange to have such young people there!

When we got in the Jeep, the air conditioning hadn’t even started to wear off and Jaimie was there knowing what was coming next.

6 thoughts on “A different voting experience

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience voting, and your blogging heads up for next week. 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous time away. I voted through mail this year, but it’s great hearing about how safe these advance polls seem to be. Voting in person made me nervous…now a little less so. I hope others feel the same.

    Aviva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning Doug! Good morning, Aviva!

    Having seen a good number of retired teachers on the other side of the tables in previous years, I decided this year would be my turn to have the experience. After a training session last week, and given that I will be working at a poll next Monday, Saturday was my opportunity to cast my vote and also observe the various procedures as a participant.

    The experience was just as expected. With voter registration card and drivers license in hand, the entire process takes on the order of three minutes, from the initial contact tracing at the entrance through to the placing of the ballot in the box.

    Although the process could be completed online, attending in person and seeing other members of the community engaged in the process seems to emphasize the importance and shared responsibility we all have in our democratic process. as well, it can make for a nice opportunity to see some familiar faces once again.

    Like

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