Making sure you can vote: the old-fashioned way

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by David Herman

A long time ago when I joined the workforce I was involved in a program to introduce computers onto the desks of the Engineering Department of Maritime Tel and Tel. We, supposedly, were moving into a paperless society. I don’t have to tell you how that worked out. We still use a lot of paper in our everyday lives. Computers are good for storing data, but they depend on people to input the data.

Last winter, my wife and I moved and so, prior to the Provincial election, I checked on voterlookup.ca to make sure we were recorded on the voter roll. I was told that the province was using the MPAC data to verify voters, so I tried to correct our information via the interface and ensure we were registered to vote. I could not get there from here.

I had to fill out a form which I could mail or submit on line. I chose to do it on line, and within about a week I was registered. The form I submitted changed our place of residence. I felt that this would have been a permanent record change, but no. When I went to voterlookup.ca, just for fun and to make sure everything was good to go for the upcoming Municipal election, I was surprised to find the MPAC data did not have any info for my current address. Surprising, but not unexpected.

So I called the toll free number, to be told that their records did not show any residential units at that street address and that I would have to talk with the municipal clerk.

I got on my bicycle and headed to the Municipal Offices. After a short wait, I got to talk with the Municipal Clerk and he checked the database, and it still showed my wife and I in our old address (the one that was supposed to be changed last February). It also had our son listed there, and he has not even lived in Ontario for at least 15 years. He has now been erased from the MPAC database and I was told that our records would be changed, but, just in case, I was told if we do not receive a voter registration card, to come back to the Municipal office and they will add us to the voters list.

Aren’t computers great! They have made life so much simpler, or is it the users that have been made simpler? BTW. The voterlookup.ca site is no longer collecting or confirming voter information for the upcoming municipal election, so if you have any reason to think you are not registered, you are directed to contact your municipal clerk. Good luck.

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