Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The nearer election

While the USA is (understandably) focused on the election there in November (as much of the world is, too), it’s not the only place elections are happening. Voting for the New Zealand General Election begins this coming Saturday, October 13. Election Day itself is on Saturday, October 17. This is much nearer for me, and it’s getting more of my attention at the moment.

I received my “Easy Vote” pack (photo above), which is designed to make it faster and easier to vote. I had some trouble getting my voter registration changed after I shifted to Hamilton, mainly because of the postal disruptions caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic. But, I got it finalised, and that’s what matters.

As always, we’ll have two votes: One is for the candidate in our Electorate (similar to a Congressional District in the USA). The other is for the party we want to lead government (known as “the party vote”). When we vote for the candidate of the party we also give our party vote to, it’s called “two ticks” (a “tick” in this context is the same thing that most Americans would call a “checkmark”). In my case, I’ll be voting “Two Ticks Labour”, as I have ever since I became eligible to vote in New Zealand.

This year, though, there are also two referenda on the ballot, one to allow the End of Life Choice Act 2019 to become law, the other asks if we’re in favour the proposed legalising of the recreational use of cannabis (I’ll try to talk more about the referenda another time). I’ll be voting YES on both referenda.

I love voting, and Election Day was always like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. But it just won’t be as fun and exciting without Nigel here to share it with me. I can imagine all the awesome discussions we’d be having about the election campaign and the players within it (and we’d have many conversations about the US’s election campaign, too). Our politics were very closely aligned, which is what added to the fun of it all.

Still, Nigel’s not here, and it’s up to me to carry on and do my democratic duty, this time for both of us. I will.

But I sure wish Nigel was here to share it with me.


Roger Owen Green said...

Have you gotten your US ballot yet?

Arthur Schenck said...

Technically yes. I opted out of it being posted to me, but they're not sending them by email any more, apparently, and use their other electronic method: Giving us a PIN we need to use to log in to their secure site, fill out the ballot, then print it out and send it back to them.

I'll talk in more detail about the process later, but Illinois voters can send them back by courier rather than hoping that the US Postal Service to complete the delivery on time.