It doesn’t matter who Rosalee or I voted for. That’s not the point of this article.

The situation

No, this has nothing to do with Jersey-shore characters.

Back in 2007 we received the keys to our brand new house in the brand new sub-division we bought in. We officially moved into the house in mid-January 2008, and shortly afterwards we both updated our addresses for our passports (they needed renewal anyways), OHIP and Driver’s Licenses.

We both knew about the By-Election that’s happening today – from media coverage, mass mailings we’ve received and all of the phone calls from the various candidates offices asking for our support.

Earlier today I had a thought – I wondered why we hadn’t received a voters registration card or any details in the mail, so I went to this page to lookup where to vote.

Once Rosalee came home, we both headed over to the venue. Immediately we were greeted by a gentleman who asked if he could assist. We told him that we never received a card in the mail. He pointed out a booth to his right for us to walk over to. ¬†We went to the booth, and gave our driver’s licenses. The lady flipped through her binder, and found Rosalee’s name, but it had the wrong address. It had an address that’s one street behind ours – but it had the right house number and the right postal code! I don’t get it! From everything that I can find, our postal code is valid for only even numbers on our street, and odd numbers on the street behind us.

When she went to look-up my name, I wasn’t in the book at all. My cousins are – they moved into the area within the last year, and we’ve been here nearly three.

How can the municipalities have our details right and not the fed’s? We received all the information for the municipal election without any problem. There is absolutely no reason why I wasn’t on the federal list for today’s vote.

My opinion on the solution

There needs to be a unified connection and communication between database systems and storage procedures. Once someone updates or applies their address for a vehicle registration, health card, driver’s license, tax submission, marriage license, etc it needs to trigger other updates to happen. The government MUST start a system to gather census details, and merge it with the appropriate areas. Yes, that’s a very high-level overview as to how the systems should run, and yes, there are a lot of technical details and processes that would have to be ironed out. And yes, it will cost some serious cash to make it happen. but it’s a one-time deal. Once the system is up and running, it should catch nearly all of the changes, and make for a more customer-focused experience for all Canadians.

Conclusion

No system is perfect. There will always be someone who has a strange exception and won’t be put through.

The time to start on it is now. The population growth is increasing at such a rate and the cost of services are increasing, it only makes logical and financial sense to get started on it now.

Want to know how the electorial race is going? Visit the Elections Canada website for preliminary results.

Follow-up

What do you think?
Can the government get something like this going?
Should they invest the money to get it going?

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