May 5th, 2011

The Droz Report

If it ain't broke ... Report from Poll #90

I am still processing the results of Monday's election and expect to have gathered my thoughts about the results shortly. Meanwhile, I want to talk about the Canadian federal election system itself — that is, how we cast our votes and how our cast votes are counted.

That system is antiquated, labour-intensive, apparently inefficient and uses technologies that, with the exception of a computer-generated print-out of the voters' list, would be completely familiar to a time-traveller from the 19th century.

I spent some 15 hours in an uncomfortable chair on Monday striking names off the voters' list with a cheap ball-point pen, then helped to count the votes. I came away from the experience with a sore back, tired eyes and a lot of appreciation for an apparently primitive system that still managed to count not far off 15 million ballots in a matter of a few hours. This old and cumbersome system is in no need of fixing.

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