On October 19 Canadians will head to the polls again to exercise their right to vote for our next prime minister. Many Canadians have already started to cast their ballots, but election day typically sees the biggest turnout. On this very busy day, here are my tips for how to be on your best ballot box behaviour:
1. Come prepared
On election day everyone is excited to vote and that can mean long line ups. To respect the time of your fellow Canadians, make sure to bring your voter registration card and the necessary ID and if you do have any questions about voting , do a little research first, Elections Canada has everything you’ll need, so you can keep the voting process moving.
2. Bring your patience
We all know that the polls are going to be busy on election day and it can be very frustrating. Even the advanced polls this year had some very long line ups and unfortunately we still don’t have poll wait time apps like they do in the U.S. So in addition to packing your ID and voter registration, you have to pack your patience. Make sure you leave yourself enough time, so you aren’t rushed and extra time if you live in a riding that is expected to have a very competitive race.
3. Don’t disturb other voters
As exciting and energizing as it to exercise your right to vote, it is important to remember that voting is a serious process and every voter is making a serious decision about the future of our country. That means phones should be on silent, conversations should be held quietly and you should be careful to observe where the appropriate waiting areas are so that you don’t interrupt people while they are voting.
4. Respect the volunteers
Elections Canada volunteers are an incredible group of people who donate their time and their skill to enable the democratic process. That means that no matter how busy you are, do be polite when you speak with the poll volunteers and be sure to thank them donating their time to make Canada a better place.
5. Celebrate your own vote
Finally, the best way to get the word out and to celebrate our right to vote in Canada is to let others now you cast your ballot. Share it on social media and talk about it with your family, friends and children. Do not criticize others for their choices though, the great thing about living in Canada is that we are free to make our own decision.
Whichever party you support, remember to get out there on election day and cast your ballot — politely!