Friday, April 22, 2011

Long Lines At Advance Polls

CTV news is reporting that polling stations across the country were very busy on the first day of advance polls, showing many clips of people complaining about having to wait in line. I voted at an advance poll on Friday, and waited 15 minutes. At some polls the wait time was a matter of hours instead of minutes, which either signals that voter participation could be higher on May 2nd, or many voters showed up because it was Good Friday and they had the day off. According to Nanos, high turnout at advance polls tends to benefit the party with the most momentum, aka the NDP.

CTV news focused on a lady who complained after voting that it was too slow because they had too many stations. If you want it to be faster, you need fewer people per poll box, which means more polls, which means more tables. Does she want to take away the registration table? It would really slow things down if you have DROs and Poll Clerks doing registration and revisions. How do you plan to make things faster by having fewer stations? Yet this lady got a lot of air time on CTV Newsworld Friday night. Slow news cycle.

I just want to say this, if you think you were violated because you had to wait in line for an hour to vote prior to election day, boo hoo. There are fewer poll boxes at advance polls because generally only 1 in 10 voters vote at advance polls. If clusters decide to vote early and flood certain locations, accept it and wait in line, or vote at the next opportunity. If you are really really busy, go into your local election office and vote by special ballot. Line-ups occur sometimes. The right not to have to wait in line for more than 30 minutes is not protected by our charter of rights and freedoms. To have the convenience that some people seem to be demanding, you are increasing the cost of each individual election by millions of dollars.

I had to wait in line! Oh the humanity! Put me on the evening news!


  1. To modernize, though, maybe we need more than one day to vote, and Elections Canada should change to fit Canadian habits. Apparently, lots of people will come out on a holiday, so let's plan for that!

  2. People love to whine. They should be glad they didn't have to dip their fingers in ink and dodge bullets in order to vote.

  3. I timed how long it took to process one person - it took about 4 minutes per person. There were 3 people sitting there at the table, but it appeared that they were flustered and did not know what to do.

    Hopefully, Elections Canada will get their act together on E day - because they will not be able to process people in this fashion.

    At our poll, there were not that many people - it was just that it was slow so it appeared that - people just didn't move.

  4. At our poll we even had Liberal signs in the ground just a foot away from the parking lot.

    I called Elections and they looked into it and said that the sign was on public property, but they did tell them to move the sign further out.

    Also, I found that Elections people were pulling out the election cards (the ones that we had to bring with us) - sure hope that they were not going to reuse them.

  5. My wife, son and I all voted Friday. Polling station not particularly busy (though it apparently had been at times). No complaints - though just an observation...In addition to the Elections Canada card we handed in, they wanted photo-ID (no problem with that idea - I think it's a good idea). Someone then had to write out our address on the list of voters given ballots (not sure why - but this step does consume time) and we signed the list before being given the ballot. Not questioning the process, just the effeciency.

  6. Our household voted yesterday (7 pm) - there was no lineup and the process was smooth. Glad to show the photo id - in today's world this is just prudent. The election staff at my poll were busy all day - there had been a substantial lineup at the door before the polls opened, so they hit the ground running. My location - St. Albert, AB. Cheers.

  7. I think the address thing is to verify what you put down to what is on your card and the voters list. Can't put down that storage shed in Edmonton, or the vacant lots. Our voter cards were put in a box similar to the ballot box, with a different color, and there is no way one could pull out a card without opening the whole thing up.

  8. If only Elections Canada put as much effort into running the polls as they do into prosecuting CPC ...

  9. Folks, call me paranoid, but I think there's A LOT more to the Coup/Coalition than meets the eye. And it's not good. For those interested in stopping the hijacking of OUR democracy, please give a gander at: "The Real Co-Conspirators Behind the Coup":

    and tell me if I'm wrong. Please.

  10. In some countries you have to worry about suicide-bombers, crazed gunman and improvised explosive devices going off on your way to the polls, or at them!

    So I think people can handle the occasional wait time of a packed voting station. At least no one dies!

    It's processing times that can be an issue. My experience in a recent manciple election was that the volunteers seemed a little more lost than what you should expect.
    Perhaps there should be a larger volunteer drive and or vetting process to shift out the Alzheimer-patients. I'm sympathetic to folks suffering from the horrible condition, but I'd rather they not apply to sort out the vote. Particularly when others show up with similar impairments to make matters worse. Not at my expense, of course, as my main concern is getting processed at all.

    As it so happens, My wife and I had no issues this time as an old gentleman was both fast and helpful. I took the time to sign my name neatly as there was no one behind me.