How are you doing these days!
If you are a resident of BC, you will know that there is an election this coming Saturday, October 24th, to be exact.
Now, I have voted in many elections; the first one was for the 1988 Canadian federal election. I voted for… oh I forget!
I’ve cast my ballot in federal and provincial elections, both BC & Ontario.
I have done this voting with my parents the first time, since then; have done it solo or with the wife. When we moved back to BC,
By “with” I mean: my wife would assist in terms of directing me to the right desk and interpreting what that person would be saying. When voting solo, I would gesture “I’m Deaf” and they would point to, after looking at my voting card, to the right line.
At this line: I would again “I’m Deaf” and show my card, and identification. They may search for my name in their huge binder of names. Most likely they would give me the ballot and told me to go vote behind the screen.
Now, to comment on a general misconception: I do not vote for Moe Szyslak, as in Eeny Meeny Miny Moe, a children’s counting rhyme to pick someone for a game… I first heard this on a Scooby Doo episode.
Oh, I ran off-topic didn’t I?
So, I do not vote for a specific party or agenda. I do a bit of reading to determine which candidate supports Disability. Sometimes the person I vote for wins, sometimes not! At least I voted!
The point of this particular blog is that recently I used my intervenor to vote! Aside from my wife, I have never used a professional interpreter or intervenor in the voting venue.
I had an intervenor scheduled the first day of advance polling, so I took advantage of that and use my intervenor to help me vote.
We arrived by car at the polling venue, then she guided me inside. I was greeted with a warm “Hello” and “How are you?”, I replied in kind, with ASL, Intervenor voicing for me.
“Oh, are you Deaf?”, the person enquired.
“I am DeafBlind,” I responded, “my intervenor here is going to help me vote.”
The greeter immediately directed me to a table in the middle of the room.
They said the intervenor needed to sign a paper to say they are supporting me, but the greeter came over, obviously she was a higher-up person with more experience than the other temp staff. She said that my intervenor did not need to sign anything, if she was only providing visual and auditory information; in other words, she was not actually marking the paper for me.
As it was the first day of advance polling, I was the only voter there at the time, so I went directly to the barrier to vote, unfolded the ballot, then asked the intervenor to tell me who was on the list.
She did that, once, then again, as I got confused and wanted to make sure the person I was going to vote for was in the right spot.
I then bent down to make that X, I blocked my intervenor from seeing which person I voted for. Then I folded up the paper, and took to the front again. I put that ballot in the box, sans the tear off part at the top.
I got a “I voted” sticker and a free dinner at The Keg!
All in all, it took me 20 minutes to vote, I had all the information I needed! I was supported by my intervenor in this fundamental right!
I do want to make one thing clear, my wife has supported me, and probably will continue to do so, when voting. She has provided me with all information, and supported me in voting. Why is this different? Because the intervenor is used was employed by an agency. There is a difference of paid versus volunteer.
So my civic duty has been done! I am now going to wish you all a good weekend!
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