We call it the advance poll but it is also known as pre-poll voting or early voting. Regardless of what you call it, it all boils down to the same thing. It is a date set aside for voters to cast ballots before general election day.
Who Can Vote In The Advance Poll
There was a time when the advance poll was intended for voters who were not going to be available to vote on the scheduled election day. Then it turned into an opportunity for any voter to mark their ballot. For me, quite honestly, the advance poll gives me the chance to “get it over with” early. Typically, I have my mind made up of who I’m voting for long before election day, so the early voting day permits me to vote and not be concerned about my choice(s) after that.
Seriously, if I vote early, I don't get influenced by anything that I read, hear, or see after that. I'm generally happy with my choices and don't ever recall wishing I had waited because I had changed my mind.
This year will be different for me as I will be out of town for most of the day of the advance poll. That means I’ll likely vote on general election day - something I have not done for several elections.
There is a specific reason why advance polls exist and it has nothing to do with voters being out-of-town on election day. The whole idea behind early voting (in Canada, at least) is to increase voter participation. There are other reasons such as reducing the crowd that may gather on general election day and giving workers a chance to vote without having to schedule around their shift hours.
No Excuse Voting Has Increased Numbers
Since you can vote at either the advance poll or on general election day, voter turnout has increased. You don’t need an excuse to participate in the early voting opportunity, so that has brought many voters out who may otherwise feel that the polling stations could be too busy on general election day.
Early Voting In Other Parts Of The World
In Canada, advance polls are common in all elections ranging from federal to provincial and municipal. Typically, all a voter requires is two pieces of identification (with proof of address) to register on-site to cast a ballot. In British Columbia, advance polls are held ten days before general election day. For example, the upcoming municipal election is Saturday, October 15, 2022. Polls for Town of Princeton residents are open from 8 AM to 8 PM at the Princeton Skills Centre on Vermilion Avenue. The advance poll is Wednesday, October 5, 2022. It will run from 8 AM to 8 PM at the Princeton Skills Centre on Vermilion Avenue.
In Ireland, voters on the remote coastal islands have a different advance poll opportunity. They get to cast ballots the day before general election day. The reason for this is to hopefully avoid bad weather that may delay transporting ballot boxes to the mainland.
In Sweden, you don’t have to register to vote as long as you have a local address. Although voters are encouraged to vote on election day, they have the option of casting ballots anytime during the week leading up to election day. Plus, they can vote anywhere in the country.
Early voting, or pre-poll voting, are different names for advance polls. In Princeton, the advance poll is set for Wednesday, October 5, 2022, and will be located at the Skills Centre. It will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM. You won’t be receiving a voter registration card in the mail as that just happens in provincial and federal elections in Canada. However, to vote in the upcoming local election, you must have at least two pieces of ID as that allows you to register on-site. Whether you choose to vote in the advance poll or on general election day, please remember to cast a vote for me, George Elliott. Thank you.
10/2/2022 02:59:13 pm
Thank you George for the info and de-mystifying the voting process.
W. George Elliott
10/3/2022 08:40:16 am
Carol, you are most welcome!
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My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.