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Election Problems & Civic Duty


I hope you voted. More importantly, I hope your voting experience wasn't as troubling as mine was. I could have been a non-citizen, a repeat voter, or Borat Sagdiyev and still cast a vote. This is how it happened.

I went to my local voting station. At the entrance of the school gymnasium, a friendly woman directed me to an open registration table. I approached the smiling ballot officials, with a smile. My name wasn't on the voter list, but my address was (along with the name of another, different resident of the same house). I was given a form to complete (to add myself as a voter). I completed and returned the form, and was given a ballot in a secrecy folder and oral instructions on how to complete it....

I walked over to the tables where the marking of ballots was to take place. I tried to squeeze my ballot, hand, and marker into the tiny box shield but could no longer see the ballot when I did this. There was another voting box right next to me, and an older fellow approached and fumbled around in his tiny box as well. I wondered why there weren't any voter screens. I also wondered if they are mandatory or not. We exchanged confused/surprised glances and both pulled our uncompleted ballots out from the boxes and used our folders to shield our ballots as we completed them in more plain view. The tabulator officer then put our completed cards through the computer. Voting completed.

As I walked towards the exit, I realized something. I had cast a vote, but wasn't on the voters list, at no point was I asked to show identification, and I could have been anyone really. That's not right.

I returned to the officials at registration, showed them my driver's license and insisted that they cross-reference it with the information I wrote on the forms I completed. Smiles dropped. They apologized for their negligence, and when I suggested that I would have to report the incident, they agreed. I haven't filed an official complaint yet. Should I?

(image: City of Toronto)


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