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« Okay, it's time to vote, if you're in the U.S. and haven't done so already | Main | Mind Movie for eliminating computer problems, yeehaw! »

November 05, 2008


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Linda Cunningham

Great post, Deb, and a wonderful turnout where you were: well above average from what I saw watching the coverage last night (we switched between CBC and BBC mostly, with the odd foray to CNN and the other networks).

I find it interesting the amount of staffing redundancy interesting -- that's one thing the Canadian system definitely lacks. There's the Deputy Returning Officer with a Poll Clerk, and if one of them is off on a break, the entire poll must be closed. Period.

Despite the differences in our procedures (and I think many of them are nomenclature-related anyway), I'm interested to note that you have also come to the same conclusion about the first-past-the-post system that is starting to gather a bit of steam here in the Great White North.

There's been some discussion about the single-transferrable vote, and I'd like to see more of it before I throw my support behind it. Certainly here, where there is a longer-standing tradition of more than two parties, it could definitely change the face of our federal government, but I'm not so sure about provincial ones outside of Québec.

Janice in GA

I was thinking about you yesterday and hoping you were having a good experience there. :) My MIL was working at one of the polling places here in town. Made me wish I'd signed up to help too. Next election, maybe!


Thanks for the peek behind the scenes! It was fascinating.
I agree that the electoral college system has to go. It's a holdover from the days when communication took days rather than nano-seconds.


Thanks for this post; very interesting. My Mom works at the polls here in our county (though way, way smaller ... we only have a total of 7,200 people in our county).

I am so with you on the electoral college system. It's a dinosaur who's time should come to an end. In this age of lightning-speed technology, a vote should count for a vote, period.

I have several friends who don't vote at all, because they say their votes don't count (I disagree with them, but can see their point in some ways ... the 2004 election was a good example). But not to vote at all isn't the answer, that's for sure.


Interesting to read about the "rules" in your neck of the woods. I have worked several elections here in Canada, both Provincial and Federal. What I was quite surprised about was that cameras seemed to be allowed in the voting areas. Many people took pictures of either themselves voting in this historic election or had papparazzi following them..."stars"??... No cell phones, cameras or other electronic gadgets are allowed here in Canada. There are always pictures of the party leaders voting, which requires special permission from the Chief Electoral officer. Hard to convince people to get off their cell phones when they come in to vote. I was also surprised to learn about how voting regulations differ from state to state, even though this was a "federal" election. There doesn't seem to be a governing body that regulates things in this type of election on a country wide basis. very interesting...

Deborah Robson

There were no cell phones or cameras allowed in our vote center, *except* for special permission for a short period granted to a photographer from the local newspaper. Rules may be different elsewhere, or other special permissions may have been granted.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 made voting regulations more consistent between the states, but there are still variations . . . many fewer than there used to be.

It is still "the United States," rather than "the Combined States," with interesting ans sometimes bizarre push-pull dynamics between state and federal levels of government.


I'm in the UK, and it was really interesting to read your breakdown of your day in the voting station, and a more 'personal' view of the entire system than we usually get on the news here. Thank you.

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