Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to cast a protest vote this federal election

The advanced polls open tomorrow for the election.

I thought I would issue this public service announcement on how to cast a protest vote, for those who might not want to vote for any of the candidates.

The reason this is necessary is that there is some controversy as to whether it is legal to mark a ballot in any other way.

If you do not like any of the candidates on the ballot, what you must do, then, is hand in a blank ballot.

I suggest that you take the ballot from the Deputy Returning Officer and that you go behind the screen even if you intend not to mark your ballot. in order to preserve the secrecy of your vote.

You do not have to go behind the screen: You can take the ballot and then hand it back to the DRO right away, but then the DRO knows that you handed in a blank ballot, and this way your vote selection is public knowledge.

I also think that it might be worth a shot to go in back of the screen and read the list of candidates on the ballot in case there is a fringe candidate you had not heard of.

Note: Elections Canada does not "decline" votes as in Ontario elections.

Handing in a blank ballot is the only way to participate in the vote without selecting any of the candidates.

Once you have handed in your ballot, you will be counted as "having vote". Your vote will contribute to the participation rate. However, your blank ballot will be counted as "rejected".

I quickly scanned the number of rejected votes in each riding in Canada. Usually the number amounts to less than one per cent, although in some ridings they number more than 1 per cent.

Please be aware than when you vote you will need to bring two pieces of identification: one with just your name, and one with your address. Your Voter notification card does not count as ID. You do not need photo ID.

If you need a list of candidates in your riding,you can go here. Do a search. Once you electoral district is identified, go to the menu at the top of the screen and press on "candidates". It will bring you to the page with the list of candidates in your riding.

As always, please remember to vote according to pro-life values.

Candidate evaluations are available here.