Federal election

Voters eager to cast their ballots

Students near King’s and Dalhousie campuses were enthusiastic about casting their votes

A recent voter leaving the Dalhousie polling station
A recent voter leaving the Dalhousie polling station   Brandon Young

Voters in Halifax’s south end were excited as they cast their ballots today — and exasperated with restrictions imposed by new election rules.

Alister Parsons is one of the many people who turned up at the Armbrae Academy polling station on Oxford Street today to vote, one of 184 stations in Nova Scotia. According to Parsons the turnout inside was strong. He believes the federal election carries with it a spirit of possibility.

“In the past I felt a little alienated as far voting goes… I got the sense that the system was broken,” said Parsons, 25, who is voting for the first time.

Also at the polling station was Sarah Sutton.

“If people don’t vote then we’re just going to be reliant on the people who are voting and I think that’s always been the problem… If everyone knew what they were fighting for they would come out and vote,” she said.

Both voters are hopeful at the prospect of Canada possibly having a new government tomorrow.

“I am so excited!” exclaimed Sutton. “I’ve been reading articles on how to deal with it if we have the same prime minister tomorrow,” she said laughingly.

The voting line at Dalhousie was sparse
The voting line at Dalhousie was sparse   Brandon Young

At the polling station located at Dalhousie University’s Student Union Building, turnout was slow, with fewer than five people in line at a time.

Jessica LeBlanc, who is a new resident to Halifax but technically still from Bedford, was told she could use a piece of mail as evidence of her residence, but she says she “literally just moved in.”

“My current government I.D. does not have my current address on it unfortunately,” she said. “It’s not looking likely,” said LeBlanc about her chances of voting today. However, she said she’s not giving up hope.

“[Elections officers] told me I could find somebody who can vote in this riding to vouch for me… basically I’m on a hunt to find a friend to come down and do that for me,” she said.

Had LeBlanc wanted to vote in her Bedford riding it might still have been possible as Dalhousie was offering rides via its Tiger Patrol service which would take down-and-out students to their respective polling stations.

Pins were given out to celebrate voters
Pins were given out to celebrate voters   Brandon Young

Sarah Trower, communications and outreach manager for the Dalhousie Student Union, said  getting voters to their polling stations is important.

“We had over 2,000 students vote on campus between the 5th and 9th of October which is amazing — huge numbers. Student issues or election issues,  students care. And it’s important that we help them vote,” she said.

Elections Canada Nova Scotia’s branch was contacted for information concerning voter turnout but did not reply.