Waiting until the wee hours for election results

With Wonder Woman opening last weekend, a commentary is coming soon.

Since I still haven’t seen it yet, I figure we might as well get into the obvious and the obvious in this case would be the election.

Having sat in a room with the people counting ballots, I had a bit of an inside point-of-view on the process and I think the process is broken. I am not sure if it is people wanting to vote like they’ve always voted, or election organizers being resistant to change, but we really need to revamp the process.

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My solution?

Modernize the whole thing. I think all voting should be e-voting. Sure there are questions regarding hacking or possible voter fraud but there are a few simple solutions. First of all, instead of a voter ID, people get a person-specific on-line link and that’s what they use to vote on-line. Now, you’re going to say there are some people who don’t own electronic devices like phones or computers. Well, in those few cases, I suggest keeping voting stations open but they have to do so electronically. None of this paper ballot nonsense that takes too much time to decipher. You can still organize groups to visit nursing homes and seniors who live by themselves, which is basically what is taking place now anyway.

The results will be there in plain and easily retrievable numbers, there will be less need for recounts, and it will cost less money in the end. Also, and I can’t stress this one enough, the results will be quick. I know people like their drama but waiting for polls until the wee hours of the morning is maddening. Let’s just let science do its thing and we get a winner within minutes.

This means no more late nights waiting around for vote counting, which is the most annoying part of the whole process for me. Some like the excitement. I’d prefer not working until 1:30 a.m. but perhaps that is just me. Maybe we need these drawn-out vote counts in order to keep the excitement in the game and draw people to the action.

I admit the whole process went easier than I expected this year. The Antigonish total came in by 11:45, I spoke to the winner by 12:30 and I had the story done and sent to my editor about an hour later.

Still, there is definitely room for improvement. Also, and this isn’t to rag on my fellow journalists as a whole, but printing accurate information is a must. Showing early vote counts is one thing, but showing early voter turnouts is ridiculous. Of course, the turnout is only 10 per cent after three of 47 polls were counted. This only leads, in my case anyway, to people expressing shock on social media and then me having to explain the circumstances. Come on, folks. Let’s keep things calm and on target.

In conclusion, congratulations to the winners, condolences to the losers, and a general well done for keeping the silliness to a minimum. I know it’s not easy to play fair when it comes to politics, but I figure most folks locally made nice for the most part. I mean, I still dislike politics, but none of you make me dislike it any further.