You’ve always been able to vote in advance of election day, but this year was the first time you could vote as far in advance as we’ve been able to this election. I voted about 3 weeks ago by special ballot at my local returning office, but the traditional ‘advance voting’ days opens this Friday at various locations across the country.
What is the benefit to voting before Election Day? Sometimes people forget to vote on Election Day. Once people vote, they don’t have to worry about it again. With traditional work environments, people are working until early evening and once they get home, they are less likely to go out again. Even if it is for something as important as casting a ballot.
I have never been involved with an election where there was as much emphasis on advance voting as this one. It’ll be interesting to see what the voter turnout is across the riding, across the province, and across the country. Perhaps the length of this campaign wasn’t all bad news – it allowed all parties to reach voters more people, perhaps some they normally wouldn’t have reached.
As a complement to this, the Young Liberals of Canada have an incredible ‘Get Out The Vote’ campaign, which is especially strong here in Manitoba. All of the youth leaders, from the executive of the Young Liberals of Canada to student unions and activist groups, have worked hard to reach a traditionally under-engaged cohort. I wrote a blog post about this back in May, and it’s extremely relevant even now.
I guess what I’m saying is this: by the end of the election campaign, there will have been over 60 days where you could have voted. There is no excuse not to vote.