AP Night #2

AP = Advance Polls.

Today was night two of the advance poll weekend. According to CBC, 850,000 people voted in the advance polls yesterday. Let’s just let this sink in how incredible is this. In 2011, there was 61% voter turnout total. Over 1 million people have turned out to vote in this election (if tonight’s trend continued from yesterday). Regardless of your political stripe, the fact that we have so many people voting in advance is a win for democracy.

There’s not much social media and blogging going on because the tasks at the campaign office have ramped  up even more. I’ve taken on the role of arranging rides for those voters for have requested help getting to the polls; the goal is to get those constituents to the advance polls so we don’t have to worry about them on Election Day. We have managed to whittle down our list so there is not very many people we have to worry about on election day. I call that a win in my books!

I’ve found myself learning about many aspects of campaign this election – in the past, I’ve focused on a few tasks that I did almost exclusively. This campaign I’ve found myself working in various roles, which is a great learning experience.  I’m working on GOTV efforts (get out the vote, which everyone on a campaign should be working on anyway), social media, volunteer management, and event planning. I love the opportunities that I have been afforded by working on this campaign.

As an aside, it’s incredible to think that we are nearing the end of our journey. We have 9 more sleeps until E-Day. All our hard work is coming to an end (or a beginning, depending on what happens on October 19). What an incredible journey it’s been!

Burning the Midnight Oil Blurred

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Politics permeates my life

I only have one class left in my school program: Effective Oral Communication. The whole premise of this class is giving speeches.  As you can imagine, with the election happening, my focus has been 110% on politics. So my speeches in class have been about #cdnpoli and #elxn42.

Today’s assignment was to give a presentation about a topic where we were a SME (subject matter expert). We only had 3-5 minutes. Now when you first start giving speeches, it can seem daunting to go up and speech for 3 minutes straight, never mind 5 minutes. But it gets to a point where that just isn’t long enough. And when you’re invested in a topic, like I was today, the time just flies by.

I am really, really, passionate about politics. I work very hard to make sure that people are informed about our political system AND that they are aware just how important their vote is. I am in my element when I get to talk about political parties, styles of governments, and voting. This is especially the case when I can get other young people excited about using their voice to make a change in our country.

Talking about #elxn42

Talking about #elxn42

And this guy #justintrudeau

And this guy #justintrudeau

Love answering questions about Canadian politics

Love answering questions about Canadian politics

After class today it was back to the campaign office. Today was the first day of advance polls, and like I mentioned two days ago, there has been a huge push to get people out to vote before Election Day. There was a lot of media coverage today, because the response was overwhelming. Elections Canada staff, at polls across the country, were inundated with people who wanted to cast their ballot. There were line ups of 90 minutes or more in multiple cities and provinces. While this is a frustrating experience, of course, it is also extremely encouraging. We have never had this type of response from voters – it leaves me speechless. I can’t wait to see what the voter turnout will be for the country, and for each riding.

There are a couple different ways you can make sure your voice is heard:

  • You can vote at the advance polls – this is similar to the ballot you would mark on Election Day. You need to know your advance poll location which you can find out by contacting Elections Canada. The hours are noon until 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • You can also vote at your returning office until October 13 by special ballot; this is where you write the name of the candidate you wish to vote for. The hours are 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

For further information, visit the Elections Canada website.

And just for fun, I’ve put a little poll to see if you planned to vote. (I hope the irony isn’t lost as I’ve spent the last 69 days telling people NOT to talk about polls!)

 

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You’ve got a problem when …

You get all the way home from the campaign office (which is 20 minutes away) but don’t actually remember locking the door. So you head back to the office only to find that yes, you did lock the door.

doh

Jim, your campaign office is safe and secure.

 

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Advance polls open this weekend!

advance voting image ec

If you have any questions about advance voting (or voting in general), click this image to visit the Elections Canada website

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.

youth vote

Saw this just as I was writing this post – serendipitous!

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.

 

 

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10 ways you know you’ve been campaigning too long

trudeau-amour-fixed-151003_lead_media_image_1

In honour of a now famous slip of the tongue, where Justin Trudeau calls Gilles Duceppe ‘mon amour‘, I thought I’d give you my take on ’10 ways you know you’ve been campaigning too long’:

  1. Your friends and family give up and finally volunteer on your campaign, just to spend some time with you.
  2. When someone tells you where they live, you ask them what riding that’s in.
    1. Bonus points if you point out your party’s candidate in that area!
  3. You find yourself responding in talking points.
  4. Your wardrobe consists mainly of campaign/party t-shirts.
  5. When someone tells you where they live and you know exactly what poll it is.
  6. You can recite the returning office’s address, hours of operation, and telephone number without looking.
  7. The highlight of your day is when you find a case of copy paper you didn’t know you had (or any office supplies. This actually happened today!)
  8. You measure time in how many phone calls can be made or doors knocked on.
  9. You start to recognize voters in your riding from knocking on their doors.
    1. Bonus points if you see them out in the riding and know what poll/area they live in!
  10. You consider your campaign team part of the family and don’t know what you’ll do come October 20.

Campaigns are remarkable, frustrating, hopeful, sleep-depriving, and amazing, all at the same time. As we head into the next 13 days, remember that it is experiences like this that you will remember for the rest of your life.

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