It's Hard to vote when you are out of town!: and other frustrations - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

April 22, 2011

It's Hard to vote when you are out of town!: and other frustrations

The day started with cold, overcast skies and snow flurries. We will bike in this weather if we must but not by choice and not today. After taking the twins to daycare we sat down to attend to some last minute housekeeping chores - how to vote in the upcoming Canadian election, why we could not access information on how much usage we had made of our internet stick, clean and lube the chains on our bikes (and our son in law and daughter's), put new jagwire brakes on Dodie's bike, etc.

First up was phoning Rogers (in Canada) our wireless internet provider. Each of the 6 conversations Steve had with the next person he was transferred to went something like: This is Steve Miller. I have a non Rogers rocket stick. I am trying to access my account to see my usage but it does not show any information or even that I have an account.......OK, I'll wait while you transfer my call. Human number 6 finally directed Steve to an online chat helpline where the helper figured out that the log in name Steve thought he should be using was not the one he should have been using. Problem solved, log in name changed, checked usage and paid the bill. Next.....

How do you vote when you are out of the country during the advance polls, and also on the day of the election? A week ago our Member of Parliament's office told us that we could go to our riding's Elections Canada office "any time" before the election (which is on May 2 - we leave on our trip on May 1) and vote there. Dodie thought we should probably have at least a vague idea of where this office would be located so we phoned Elections Canada's automated help/information line (which by the way is neither helpful nor informative) and struggled to get an actual human on the line instead of the programmed robot. Dodie finally reached the elusive human (thanks Barbara) who at first thought there was no other option than to send in a "Special Ballot" by mail - and she suggested we send them courier (at an unknown but probably unecessarily large cost) and added that this would need to be in the mail by 6 pm on the 26th (we return home sometime on the 26th-too tight for comfort). In frustration Dodie asked since when a Canadian voter had to pay to be able to vote? Barbara was sympathetic but firm until Dodie mentioned that our MP's office had said there was a way to vote in the Nanaimo office. She went offline for a few minutes to check and returned with the news that, indeed, we could vote on the 26th at the Nanaimo office, by special ballot and after filling out the necessary paperwork, ID, etc. But be sure to be there well before 6 pm since that is the cutoff. Address and phone number were given and we are now again able to exercise our right to vote. Only thing, we will have to leave for home Sunday night instead of Monday morning to be sure of getting on an early enough ferry to make it to Nanaimo in time to arrange the paperwork and cast our votes. It is worth it if only we can help keep the "Evil Emperor" (Harper) off the throne.

Steve is delaying going out to the cold lonely garage to work on the bikes but Dodie says she will go out to keep him company. That is what a "good" life partner would do, right???

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