Thursday, June 05, 2014

HIstory of Voting

I'm going to be travelling next Thursday, so I voted in the Ontario provincial election advance poll yesterday.  It's an uninspiring experience, advance voting: a quiet returning office in a rundown building that has been vacant a while, where I checked in with some friendly but bored election officials, and we did the business as if I were renewing my health card, not another voter in sight. At least when you vote on the day, there is that small uplift of joining all your fellow citizens streaming in to play their part, greeting the neighbours who have also made time to walk over to the local school or church hall, considering the possibility of some excitement in the evening coverage, etc etc.

Chantal Hébert argues there's another problem with advance voting, particularly as the number of people voting in advance continues to grow. We miss the last week of the campaign, which is usually when the voting population begins to take the election semi-seriously and when large shifts in voter choice are often taking place.  Advance voters, she argues, remove themselves from that discussion, particularly in an election like this one, which seems ripe for strategic voting that responds to polling indications.

At least I voted, sour thoughts and all.  More than a majority of the voters will do, possibly.
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