October 12, 2021
One Day Voting - Seven Defects of Early Voting

To: 158 reporters and commentators; 13 Chief Electoral Officers;
plus 231 folks who are generally interested in good governance including members of the Social Mavrik Federation.

From: Bob Bray, President, Social Mavrik Federation

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This copy of my 19th message about the One Day Voting Initiative Petition
is sent to the email inbox of:

CAMPBELL RIVER: Bob Bray presents a summary of the arguments against early voting procedures - arguments that never before this petition have been presented in public - and names it "Seven Defects of Early Voting".
Seven Defects of Early Voting
Previous messages have shown that early voting does not increase voter turnout in British Columbia (#4) nor in Canada (#15).

Even if early voting did increase turnout, it would still suffer from seven defects.

The seven defects are:

1) Denies full exposure to complete campaign

Election Day should be akin to "taking the temperature" of the whole population. Imagine if personal health temperatures were taken over several days and the important metric was the combined temperature.

In theory, an election measures at a point in time the will of the people who have been equally exposed to a complete campaign with its ups and downs, its surprises and its contemporary revelations. Then everyone, all at once, decides their ballot choice out of their equal access to the full campaign.

Voting part way through the campaign ruins this theory.

2) Diminishes the drama of Election Day

When the outcome of the vote depends on actions taken by the citizenry on a single day, that day is dramatic.

The drama attracts intense media coverage. The drama leads to broad understanding throughout the citizenry that today is the day.

In the past, when there was just one voting day, turnout reached 75%. This level has not been attained again since opportunities for early voting were introduced by election officials and passed by MLAs without public debate.
3) Disrespects candidates

In the 2021 Canadian election, there were 11 days between the end of MP candidate registration and the start of voting at advance polls.

Each candidate discovers that they haven't finished making their electoral pitch but citizens are deciding and voting regardless of the candidate's best efforts.

Not very respectful of the sacrifices, of family time and privacy, candidates have made with the intention of serving as a Member of Parliament or a Member of the Legislative Assembly.

The disrespectfully shortened time is part of the system. One nefarious result of these early voting opportunities is the systemic dissing of all candidates.

To properly respect the time and effort that candidates contribute to the election race, almost every voter should wait until the end of the election and mark their choice in person on the paper ballot at a neighbourhood voting place.

4) Destroys simplicity

It's a process that's easy to understand when most of us have our voting opportunity on one day at the end of a 4 or 5 week campaign and the winner is known by the end of that day.

This simplicity is lost to the complexity of multiple voting day dates, times, locations and the many vote-by-mail rules.

5) Develops higher costs

There are costs associated with rental of space for advance poll locations and the hiring of, or increasing the hours of, poll workers.

The vote-by-mail kit is more expensive to produce and distribute than a single sheet of paper, the ballot, handed out in-person at the voting place.

6) Depends on more supervision and rules

The paid temporary workers and volunteer scrutineers need supervision from the full time electoral office staff.

The number of rules expand considerably to cover each convenient and extra way to vote - to the delight of the bureaucrats involved.

7) Delivers a message that elections hardly matter

A growing number of citizens are happy to vote for their preferred party as early as possible. These folks close themselves off from spontaneous, unrehearsed developments during the campaign and appear happy to thumb their nose to any candidate who wants to inform them about reasons they may not otherwise have considered.

These party loyalists don't need an election campaign. They are not interested in other points of view. In Canada and British Columbia this is their prerogative.

But our legislated voting opportunities should challenge everyone to be patient, to wait for the full election campaign to play itself out and then give their decision at the end of the designated campaign period.

Legislation should not tilt the playing field in any way.
One Day Voting Initiative Petition - IP-2021-001
The name of this legislative petition is: Initiative to change the voting opportunities in provincial elections.

The petition is described on the Current Initiative Petitions page of the Elections BC website along with the Public Notice which can be seen here.

There are 4 canvassers registered by Elections BC (and one more coming soon) for signature gathering from folks
  • who prefer ensuring almost everyone informs their choice from equal exposure to all election campaign dynamics before they cast their ballot at the in-person Election Day event in their neighbourhood
  • over those who feel the convenience of at-home vote-by-mail and the options of advance polls are totally without nefarious consequences.

Names and ridings of the 5 canvassers are shown on the Social Mavrik list.
Canvassers Wanted
Want to learn the petition system as a registered Canvasser?

No door-to-door canvassing is required.

Gathering and witnessing one signature is sufficient.

The canvasser application form is here.
Watching Brief - Policing Petition - IP-2021-002
The name of the second legislative petition in 2021 is: Initiative to conduct a Surrey policing binding referendum.

The petition is described on the Current Initiative Petitions page of the Elections BC website.

At the time of writing 405 + 2 = 407 canvassers are registered for signature gathering from folks who prefer national policing over local policing.
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Bob Bray, President, Social Mavrik Federation
Phone: 250-504-0052
Mail: 784 Bowen Drive, Campbell River, British Columbia V9H 1S2
Email: bob.bray@socialmavrikbc.ca
Website: socialmavrikbc.ca
The Social Mavrik Federation is a registered society in British Columbia dedicated to cultural politics through endorsing candidates for Leadership / MP / MLA / Trustee positions and supporting legislative petitions.
October 12th Social Media Posts:
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Last week's Tweet:
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