The saddest aspect of the whole HST referendum debacle is how Elections BC has frittered away its wonderful reputation.
As a British Columbian, I find it downright embarrassing how the mail-in voting process was carried out in such a ham-handed manner, compared to the smooth, efficient way it is done in Oregon.
It’s like the difference between a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet and one by the Three Stooges.
In Oregon, there is none of this cloak–and-dagger nonsense of processing and counting votes at some secret location. There is a “sunshine” policy with 36 election centres across the state at which citizens are not only permitted but encouraged to observe the entire process from the arrival of the envelopes in the mail through the final counting of ballots.
Moreover, the ID accompanying every single ballot is carefully checked in Oregon — not just a small random sample, as in B.C.
And if officials in Oregon have doubts about identification on any certification envelope, the ballot isn’t arbitrarily discarded as in B.C. — the voter is instead contacted and given 10 days to come to an election centre and verify their ID.
In addition, if Oregon citizens arrive at an election centre at the last minute to cast their ballot, the doors aren’t shut in their faces. Officials instead try to make sure everyone who is in the vicinity of the election centre at the time of the deadline gets a chance to vote.
I can’t understand why election officials in B.C. stumbled along trying to reinvent the wheel on mail-in voting when all they had to do was borrow the wheel that has been spinning smoothly and efficiently for so many years in Oregon.