Voting Day Blues

It is COVID-19″s fault. But probably many people haven’t realized it yet, and won’t before September 20. By which time it may be too late.

This weekend is the advance polling in Canda’s federal pandemic election, the one the Prime Minister kept insisting he didn’t want – until he called it, hoping to be returned with a majority government. But because there is a pandemic, voting is a little different this year. Or maybe a lot different.

I received my voter information card in the mail this week. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have looked at it, but this year I have decided to vote in the advance polls. On Election Day I always vote at the school a five-minute walk from my house. The advance poll is elsewhere and not always in the same place.

It was nice to see that teh advance poll is only a couple of blocks from the school, I won’t have to walk too much farther. Then I noticed where I was to vote if I wait until September 20. It isn’t the local school.

I’m expected to go to a convention centre that is at least a half-hour’s walk, maybe more. Thank you pandemic.

Schools are limiting entry these days to prevent the spread of the virus. A thousand people or more coming into their gym over the course of the day was considered a health hazard, so they have foregone the rental income from Elections Canada. I suspect the same is true for churches, the other popular polling place.

I wonder though how many people will read their voting cards and note the new location before heading out to vote? Not many if you have always voted in teh same location. I’m pretty sure a hundred people or more will show up at my local school. And many of those will be annoyed at the change and won’t bother to go to the new location.

My guess is that voter turnout will be down in my riding, maybe even across the country if this is a nationwide thing. I can’t figure out who that is going to favor.

The rush for mail-in ballots that had been predicted doesn’t seem to have materialized. I guess Candiasn are heartier than their American counterparts. There will still be more mail-in ballots than usual, but not an overwhelming number.

I’ll cast my ballot in the advance poll this weekend. I’ll save myself almost an hour of walking time that way. It means I have to make my final decision a little early, but given the way things have been going in Canada making a choice won’t be that hard.

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