I think most people who know me, know that I love elections. As a child, I would listen to the radio as votes were counted on election night. I would hear something like “54 of 93 polls reporting” and my imagination would have me wondering what it looked like to count ballots. How many people did it take? How long? How did they do it?
My mom would always bring me behind the voting booth with her when she went to vote, and explained the process to me. Being in a polling place filled me with excitement as I eagerly looked around, trying to read all the voting books and literature displayed around the location. I was fascinated when the Poll Clerk filled the form with my mom’s name and some sort of number. “What did that mean? What did they do with the information? Why were the ballots folded like that?” I wanted to learn everything.
This fascination stayed with me into adulthood. Every election I have researched every party platform, reading them cover to cover. I have learned about each candidate; who they are and what they stand for, and I have been the most excited person in the room when it came time to cast my ballot. Then I would excitedly watch on election night as every vote was counted, knowing that mine was one of them. I wished I could be someone who counted those ballots, but I didn’t know how, and honestly I didn’t think I was qualified.
Then suddenly, cut to last year, when I was hired to be a Central Poll Supervisor for Elections Canada. Having never worked a poll in my life, I was suddenly put in charge of the entire place.
It was like a massive overload of information, regulations, and procedures. All of which I consumed ravenously, determined to learn EVERYTHING.
It ended up being one of the absolute best days of my life, and I knew that the excitement and intrigue I had felt as a child had finally come to reality. I was good at this, and I was made for this. Among many others, I personally assisted brand new Canadian citizens, 18 year olds who had never voted before, and many people with a variety of disabilities. I helped them all through the electoral process, and it was thrilling.
And that’s why this year I am working for Election BC as a Supervisor for 2 locations, pandemic and all.
So much of the world is currently dealing with the US Election, which seems to be all-consuming, and it definitely bleeds into Canadian psyche and politics as well. We all love to give our opinions, and we know that social media makes that easier than ever. As an election official, I swear an oath to be completely non-partisan, which I take very seriously.
I have found that I love being non-partisan, and despite what you may guess about me, I am actually extremely good at it. I have always been good at removing myself from the situation at hand and viewing situations from all sides before forming opinions. I honestly care much more about democracy itself than I do about politics. I care that people engage in it, understand it, and vote. I want everyone who has the right to vote, can and does vote, regardless of who they vote for.
My opinions have no place coming between another voter and their vote. As an election official, I will do absolutely everything in my power to protect the sanctity of our democracy. I will literally break down walls if that’s what it takes to get a voter through the doors to cast their ballot, and I honestly do not care how that ballot gets marked.
Fraud, election tampering, voter suppression, gerrymandering. All of these are things I will fight against, and I am so proud to say that the people I have met in Elections Canada and Elections BC are truly non-partisan and actively fight against these things as well.
Though you may hear otherwise along the way, I want to assure everyone I know that our elections are safe. Our electoral agencies are truly non-partisan and when you go through the process of working an election, it becomes clear right away.
In a world of loud politics and opinions, the public deserves non-partisanship.
The public deserves and needs sources who can put aside ALL their personal biases, removing themselves from the politics to focus on the task at hand, which is placing power directly into the hands of the voter. Not lobbyists, not corporations, but the single individual people who have a fundamental right to their opinions and beliefs, and a democratic right to act on them.
I will always strive to be the best I can be for those people. Last year, I went so far out of my way to ensure that everyone who showed up at my polling place could cast their ballot. This year with the pandemic, I anticipate even more of that. I anticipate scared voters, skeptical voters, and sick voters. I may have to administer curbside voting for those who are unable or unwilling to make their way inside the building, and I will do it, regardless of how much work it takes. Every vote counts.
The electoral process can be a confusing thing, especially this year during a pandemic election.
If you have any questions about the voting process in BC (or Canada), please feel free to ask me.
I promise I will give you an honest and completely unbiased, non-partisan answer.