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Announcing an Independent Candidacy...

Al Knight, Kamloops area Chief Returning Officer, speaks.

Interesting information gleaned from a talk by Al Knight, Chief Returning Officer (CRO) for the Kamloops Thompson Federal riding. It's gearing up for election time here in Canada:

Special balloting
People can actually vote anytime during the election campaign. The CRO's office opens the day the election is called and people can vote that same day. Makes it rather convenient.
No excuse not to vote, even if out of town.

New locations for polling stations
Al is, for the most part, pulling out from using schools as polling stations. He mentioned that can be quite a huge disruption on a school day. The chosen alternative might create a little more parking challenges. Seems to me that the a large part of the plan is to centralize polling stations into fewer and larger stations.
Get the polls at off peak times, eg during the workday.

Political parties actually run polling stations on election day
Al explained that the winning and second place party from the election previous get first right of refusal for all the positions in the polling stations. Am I the only one that finds that a bit weird? In theory, the chief poll captain and the 2nd in command are of different parties but I got the impression that doesn't often happen. Saving grace of all this is that political parties can't likely usually volunteer the amount of people needed to run the election.

All in all, very interesting

Comments

Jim Elve

The comment about voting disrupting the school day is alittle disturbing. I remember as a Grade 3 student getting an early civics lesson when our school was used as a polling place and the teacher had an opportunity to talk to us about democracy. We even had a tour of the voting booth.

Using schools can also make for a good location as opposed to that large, central spot. Since most children can walk to their neighbourhood schools, it stands to reason that these places would be most convenient for voters who can also walk. The single, central location sounds like it would benefit the returning officer but it's the voter who should be afforded the most convenience, IMO.

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