Thursday, September 16, 2021

Reducing polling stations "due to COVID" makes no sense

We voted the other day, not at our usual polling station, but at another one further away. It was pretty busy, considering this was advance polling and not the actual election day, but not too bad. Apparently, there are much fewer polling stations this election, "due to COVID-19".

Wait, hold on. Elections Canada has cut down on the number of polling stations "to meet physical distancing requirements"? That makes no sense. We now have more people crammed into fewer stations, longer lines, and therefore LESS physical distancing. Surely, if anything, we need MORE polling stations.

Now, apparently, some regular polling stations like schools and private businesses have declined to lend their premises for voting purposes during a pandemic, which is perhaps understandable. But that is not the major reason for the reduced number of polling stations. It's all about physical distancing.

We also had to throw away the little pencils we used to vote with (or we could take them home), another largely pointless COVID protocol. It has been many months since the idea of the virus spreading from touching things has been demoted to nonsense status. Nevertheless, millions of little pencils are being junked regardless.

It's not a big deal, in the scheme of things. You can see that they are trying to make it as safe as possible under the circumstances. It's just that so many things are described as "due to COVID-19" or " because of the pandemic" nowadays that we have almost stopped questioning them. It has become the excuse du jour (d'an?) for pretty much every non-standard or cost-cutting policy instituted anywhere, and there is little anyone can do about it, because public health and safety trumps everything.

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