The 5 Step Plan to Voting at Quest
I began my day with a plan. A plan to participate in democracy, have my say, and vote. This is the plan and execution as follows:
Plan: Get up, make coffee, eat breakfast and head up the hill from residence.
Reality: Mornings are hard. I rolled out of bed half an hour late, almost fell asleep in the shower, didn’t have time to make coffee (so I had tea instead) and breakfast was oatmeal eaten from a mug as I walked quickly to class. But still, I made it.
Plan: Attend class
Reality: Well, I successfully was in class so I would say successfully completed this step. I’m wrapping up a calculus class in two days from now so today was the last day of new content. It went well and went by quickly.
Plan: Get Darren (Manager of Campus Living) to sign the form saying that I live here.
Reality: My home address on all of my formal ID still says my home is where my parents live. This address is no longer where I consider home, and I wanted to vote in the Squamish riding. To this end, Quest had prearranged forms that could be printed off, filled in with a students name, and signed by Darren, the housing manager, to prove that we live here. I found the form and tracked down Darren who appeared to be participating in a wilderness first aid course, something often offered on campus. His patient was gracious enough to let me borrow Darren for long enough to get my form signed, and we were ready to head to the station.
Plan: Change my address at the polling station
Reality: This was very straight forward for me, and less so for Sarah, another student who was voting with me. I was able to show the signed letter proving my residency, use a drivers license for ID, sign a form and I was good to go.
Sarah was more complicated because she had requested a ballot from Elections Canada to vote in Calgary, her hometown. Unfortunately the ballot did not arrive in the mail until a point where it would have been too late to mail it in. Because she had already requested a ballot however, she was not allowed to get a new one in Squamish. She was referred from the polling station to the Elections Canada office, where the wonderfully helpful people there called Ottawa to find a solution to allow Sarah to vote.
It was a lengthy process (we where happy to have brought coffee to keep us company) but it was resolved and she was given what she needed to be able to place a vote in Squamish.
Reality: Vote. There was a moment of confusion where I didn’t realize that I was supposed to verbally confirm my new address and I kept referring the people asking me to the form where it was written down. Once I clued in I was able to check my box and be done with it
I’m happy to say that I participated in democracy today, exercising a right that many people are still denied. Even with some complications it was still a relatively short process. It does not seem to be too much to expect that people will give up this much of their time once ever 4 to 5 years in order to have a government that accurately represents the Canadian people. So if you haven’t done it yet, go vote!