No id needed

by Yule Heibel on May 17, 2005

Whew, no time to write anything again — apologies to people who left comments recently, but I’ll get to responses …soon. I think. Sort of like I’ll get around to organising my photos on Flickr, and/or updating them with more developments on recent development projects. Those photos of the building site with the pink cones for dynamite charges? Nearly all gone, ka-boom. Just a big hole now, with huge earth-moving machines making a meal of it.

Election Day in BC today. Went to vote and asked how come I don’t have to show any i.d. One has never needed to show i.d. if one is registered to vote, it seems. Just bring your voter-reminder card, sign on the dotted line that you are who you say you are, and you get to vote. “So, the other day, when my card arrived, I also received the card for someone who used to live in my house. What’s to stop someone from showing up with that card and claiming to be that person?” Nothing, it seems, except if the person next to you happens to see you faking it (and knows it), causing you to get caught, you could end up going to jail for 20 years. Strange. What are the chances of such a chance encounter?

On the other hand, the more trusting atmosphere makes for more access to the voting process. It’s made very easy to vote here, and I think more people do it for that reason. There’s discussion of making voting ballots available in braille so that the blind can vote unassisted. It’s very easy to verify whether you’re registered to vote by going online, which you can do from any library if you don’t have internet access at home. And in Vancouver’s East Side, many homeless people (or those without a fixed address) were voting today because of a drive to get that vote out. If you weren’t registered and didn’t have the requisite i.d., you could just bring an envelope (say, from welfare) with your name etc. on it, swear that you are Jane Doe and mostly or sometimes reside at the address on the envelope, and bingo-presto, you could vote.

The only problem from my perspective was that I wasn’t happy with any of the candidates or parties. I seriously considered voting for Ingmar Lee, about whom I’ve known since I learned about Betty Krawczyk, but then opted for the Green Party, even though their representative in my riding is, as far as I can tell, a non-entity. In the overall scheme of things, my Green vote doesn’t matter much, though, since Carol James, the provincial NDP leader and NDP candidate in my riding, is going to beat the incumbent BC Liberal by a mile. [*] Maybe by next election, we’ll have STV, which might make voting Green more meaningful. For now, it was all pretty grim.

[*] Update: it is indeed grim. The BC Liberals, according to the latest online newspaper report, have won a second term. Goodnight Gracie. Carol James, as predicted, did win in my riding, so my Green vote didn’t “spoil” anything. But omigod, another 4 years of Gordon Campbell…

Results on the STV referendum aren’t definitive yet, it seems. The referendum needs 60% yes votes to pass…

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