When I voted in the 2019 federal election on Bowen, I think some folks thought it was my first time voting because as I shoved the ballot into the box, the room broke out into applause. It was mildly embarrassing but the embarrassment was tempered by the thrill of voting – even a decade after I cast my first government ballot. (Obviously the crowd was excited too?)
Some journalists don’t vote in elections (the whole not forming biases thing) but not voting is too great a cost for me.
My first hometown – Old Crow, Yukon – has seen two territorial elections decided by a draw. On Bowen, one vote cast for Gary Ander made the difference in the 2018 election. It was the mail-in vote that flipped a Green Party win in our provincial riding to a Liberal Party win by 60 votes, just last year.
The votes of our little island count.
It seems that Bowen Islanders know this too: there were 1,004 ballots cast in the advance polls on Bowen from Sept. 10 to 13, Marcus Hondro – information officer for the advance polls – tells me. In the 2019 election, 877 people voted in the advance polls and 1,412 voted on election day. (So a total of 2,289 out of 3,105 registered electors voted that year).
Also to keep in mind, the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country had the 14th highest number of voters requesting special ballots in the country with 7,158 mail-in ballots issued as of Tuesday morning and 3,887 of those ballots returned, reports the North Shore News.
Where does this leave the votes to come?
Basically, chances are a good bunch of those reading this have already voted. But, there’s a solid contigent of us who havent. For those of us who will be standing in line at BICS Monday, there are breakdowns of the all-candidates meetings held in our riding at bowenislandundercurrent.com/canadavotes2021 and as well as issue-specific analyses of platforms on the national level.
How to vote
On a different note, Elections Canada opted not to advertise election information in our paper this year as it has in years past and instead we saw Instagram and Facebook ads interrupt our doomscrolling (Google it). Spending, advertising, local is important! Because they didn’t deign to let you know in these pages, here’s the voting deal:
Election day is Sept. 20 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at BICS. Voters are asked to bring:
Voter information cards
Accepted ID (Option 1: driver’s licence or any government issued ID with photo, name and current address. Option 2: Two pieces of ID with name and at least one with current address eg. voter information card and bank statement or utility bill and student ID card. Option 3: If one has no ID, someone can vouch for them. See more information at elections.ca.)
Pen or pencil to mark their ballot (single-use pencils will be available).
Voters must don masks (but proof of vaccination is not required).