Election 2015: From ballot box to the national results

Election workers brace for busy day

While electors consider which party to vote for in Monday’s federal election, Elections Canada staff is busy ensuring all the behind the scene work rolls out smoothly with the end goal of balancing voters with ballots dropped.

The Additional Assistant Returning Office in Trail has been a hectic place since it opened up two months ago.

Advance voting cleared with the trimmings Thanksgiving weekend and the office in Waneta Plaza closed its special ballots Tuesday, leaving the rest heading to the polls on election day.

Trail’s Bonnie Braithwaite has not punched out yet. The AARO (additional assistant returning officer) is hosting one last training session Saturday and is ready to support those who’ve signed up for the 12 to 14-hour shift.

“We’re still ramped up and ready for election day,” she said Thursday. “In general the day flows fairly smoothly.”

The polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, locally at Trail Memorial Centre, the Fruitvale Memorial Centre, Rossland Summit School and Warfield Community Centre.

Deputy returning officers will be on hand to collect ballots as voters flow through the station.

But what happens after you cast your vote?

The number of electors casting ballots at polling stations are recorded throughout the day and used to balance numbers when the polls close at 7 p.m.

A deputy returning officer, central poll supervisor and poll clerk are tasked with tallying the votes, which are cross referenced with the number of electors before final results are signed off on and sent to the returning office in Penticton. Scrutineers observe the count to ensure accuracy. Every time each polling station finishes counting, the results are made public and residents can watch as the outcome sways from one side of the political field to the next across the country.

“In general (staff) is probably glad the day is done,” admitted Braithwaite. “A lot of central poll supervisors let them take a few minutes break just to kind of breathe in and then they start the count because they’re tired.

“It’s a long day for them, and we appreciate what they do.”

Residents are reminded to register, which can be done at the polls.

If you’re registered to vote, Elections Canada mailed you a voter information card that you should have received by Oct. 1. If you did not receive the card, you can register at your polling station.

You can do this by showing a driver’s licence, provincial or territorial identification card, or any government card displaying your photo, name and address; or you can show two pieces of ID, provided at least one shows your current address.

Candidates vying to represent the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding include Conservative Marshall Neufeld, NDP Richard Cannings, Liberal Connie Denesiuk, Green Party Samantha Troy and independent candidate Brian Gray.