Counting Who Votes

I used to work the federal and provincial elections , in Canada, we not only use an honour system – you don’t need to show government issued identification if you have your voter card – we allow a voting proxy for people who are blind, can’t read, and various other reasons why a person can’t mark their own ballot.

At the polling station where I worked the first time as a polling station supervisor, a man and woman in their 60’s brought in their adult aged son on a gurney – he was so mentally disabled as to not have any awareness of his surroundings – but, he is still a citizen and gets to vote.

In theory and by policy, his father casts the son’s ballot on the son’s behalf as per the son’s instructions.

Hhowever, it is clear to any observer that the son is not capable to give directions to the father to cast an independant ballot; so the father in practise, has two votes.

By not defining what qualitifes people to vote – we are giving people who have control of a person who is unable to comprehend and communicate two votes.

As unpalatable as this situation – which is a rare exceptional circumstance,  the question is:  is it better to allow the rare exception and give a person in effect two or maybe more votes, circumstances depending – what if he had two such offspring?

Or do we set rules and disenfranchise whole swaths of people from voting and in effect, create a second teir of lower citizenship based on ability?

Given our history of the concept of eugenics – improving the human species through a non-random or guided selection based on favourable attributes the way that we breed domesticated animals and plants – and instead, having the process corrupted by religious, political and discriminatory agendas, it’s better to err on the side of allowing minor abuses to include everyone as a single tier of citizenship; than to create levels of qualifications and end up with human rights abusives of people who have no voice or who’s voice have been taken away.

We  happened to have several federal and provincial elections back to back so, after the first year, I was able to advise the ballot officer and clerk to expect the family and ensured that they had a smooth and basically the same voting experience as everyone else without coming to vote and expecting a fight.

That I kinda feel like I abandoned them to train a new polling station supervisor.

Makes me wonder what it was like to vote when the first women were allowed to enter the polling station….

 

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