With 11 days still to go until the election, early polls opened today and will be up and running tomorrow and Monday, too, from noon until 8 p.m. (This ends the public-service announcement; we return you now to regular programming.) Fifteen minutes after the door was unlocked, business was brisk at the Trinity-Spadina advance poll in the Trinity Recreation Centre on Crawford Street. That’s after voters had found the door: a sign at the main entrance points straight at a fence with a three-metre drop on the other side.
As a short lineup built inside the polling station, election workers were already becoming a little frazzled by numbered voter lists that they said didn’t seem to be in any particular order. There was a lot of thumbing through papers and no one was in the mood for chitchat. Asked how things were going, one worker replied, “Have a nice day. Who’s next?”
It’s not too late to join their ranks. Signs around the neighbourhood invite applications, promising that “an election officer can make between $159 and $232 for one day’s work (including training).” Not bad money. Enough to make it worthwhile, perhaps, to book off sick from your regular job. Except that would be wrong.
There’s been talk that scheduling the party leaders’ English-language debate last night at the same time as the U.S. vice-presidential set-to was really dumb. How could Elizabeth May compete with Sarah Palin for entertainment value? (A book-launch party at Sleuth of Baker Street on Bayview Avenue for Linwood Barclay’s new thriller, Too Close To Home, broke up early because everyone wanted to get home to see Palin go head-to-head with Joe Biden. No one mentioned Harper/Dion/Layton/Duceppe/May.) But another theory is coming forth: that Stephen Harper might deliberately have manipulated the timing to take some of the attention away from himself. Who wants to be ganged up on in public two nights in a row? In both official languages?
Photo by Bill Taylor/Torontoist.