Sunday, May 28, 2017

Post 3571 - This And That

Well, hello there, handsome. How are you doing?

My body shut down pretty early Saturday night. It does most nights after I have spent hours and hours at the Archives, researching unsolved murders and missing persons cases. Something about investigating death tires me out.

After I finished there, I picked up Patricia. We voted at the advanced polls in Lakeside. Or is it technically Beechville? I am not sure, but at any rate, the voting process is over for both of us. I look forward to seeing how the results will turn out, and whether the candidate I supported will win on Tuesday night.

There are some strange elections laws in Nova Scotia. I think I understand some of them. But I do not understand why the law states that a provincial election must fall on a Tuesday. A weekend, I get that. People may be out of town or traveling or something. But why, specifically, a Tuesday?

Time was, liquor stores had to close on an election day, but that has not been the case for quite a few years. That law went back to the day, back when my parents were young, when politicians would openly bribe the electorate with bottles of liquor, usually rum. My mother once told me that when she was first able to vote, around 1950 I guess it would have been, that the candidate asked her if she had voted "correctly". When she replied that she had, he gave her a crisp ten dollar bill. The men were given bottles of rum. That candidate was Liberal, but the Conservatives did the same thing.

Also, back in the day, some candidates got their hands on actual voting ballots and devised a method by which they could ensure votes for themselves. They would procure these ballots somehow and fill them out with the X next to their name. They would give those filled-out ballots to willing voters, who would go into the voting booth, pretend to fill out the ballot and return it to the voting clerk. The already-filled-in ballot would be put in the box to be counted. The blank ballot, given to the voter just before he entered the voting booth, would be returned to the candidate. Satisfied he had just got another vote, he would give the voter a small sum of money, or, more likely, a bottle of rum or other liquor.

I am sure there were other scams and schemes along the way. For all I know, there still are, but those are the ones they had back then that I heard about. Today, voting ballots are jealously guarded. I can't imagine how a candidate could get his hands on them ahead of time. Even if he could, he would be found out and driven out of town, and rightly so. There is a little strip containing a unique number that the voting clerk tears off the returned ballot and places in a separate bag before the clerk gives the remaining portion of the ballot to the voter, who places it in the box to be counted when the polls close. That is supposed to fix the problem I described in the previous paragraph.

Hey, here's what we can do. If you know of any past scheme employed by political candidates to ensure votes for themselves, tell me about them. You can put a comment on my Facebook, leave a comment on the blog, or write me directly here. I look forward to hearing from you.

Oh, someone wrote me the other day saying she did not know how to leave a comment to a blog post. You need to have an account on Google and be logged on to that account when you access this blog. Once you do, you can leave a comment on a given blog post. I am pretty sure I turned off anonymous blog comments some time ago. I was getting too many abusive comments.  So, now you know.

Another work week beckons. Yippee.

See you tomorrow.


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