In case you haven't heard, May 9 is election day in B.C. And you need to move out from under that rock.
For the fifth time, I will be working at a polling station, this time as a supervising voting officer. I have worked all of the positions at the polls, both federal and provincial, and have ascended to the top spot.
It's my job to get the polling station open and help the staff throughout the day to make voting easy for you.
Sure, you make a few bucks working for Elections BC, attending a training session for your specific job (as a SVO, I have to attend four sessions) and spend a 15-hour day not allowed to leave the polling place, but it's amazing how fast it goes by. And how much fun it is. You meet a lot of people, see a lot of friends you haven't seen for a while and get a front row seat to watch democracy in action.
Given what people have to go through in so many other countries in the world, our system is incredible. And simple. In a world with so much technology, it seems backwards to use a piece of paper and a pencil to vote, but without question it is secure and reliable. For us, there are five names on the page - put an X beside one of them. It's not difficult at all.
There has been one improvement this time around, the database of voters is now on a laptop. And we get barcode reading wands as well. If you bring in your voter's card, it is incredibly fast - your name pops up, we confirm it with your ID (bring your driver's licence, it's faster and easier) and you get your ballot.
The other great thing about the B.C. election is the flexibility - you can go to any polling place to vote. Work downtown? You can vote there. Or on your way home. You don't have to go to your specific polling place if you don't want to. It is a bit faster at your assigned location, but can be a challenge for us southerners. Who knows what tunnel traffic will be like that day.
Another option is the advance polls, which will be open May 3, 4, 5 and 6. So really, there's no reason not to vote.
In the last provincial election in 2013, turnout was around 55 per cent. Delta South's turnout was 68 per cent, the third best in the province, just slightly behind Sannich North and the Islands and Oak Bay-Gordon Head. The worst turnout? Richmond Centre, where only 43.65 per cent of eligible voters took the time to cast a ballot.
Let's see if we can be No. 1. As you go to the voting place, remember the thousands of Canadians and others who fought over the last century, many making the ultimate sacrifice, to give you that privilege. Every vote matters for that reason alone, whether your candidate is elected or not.
So grab your voter's card, bring your ID and vote. And if your polling station is Beach Grove Elementary, I'll be there to make sure it goes smoothly for you. One ballot per customer.
Brad Sherwin, MBA has over 25 years' experience in marketing, public relations and business strategy. He is currently the director of marketing for a national non-profit organization.