By Jud Pearson
‘The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.' - Lewis Carroll
Yes, the time is finally here to cast your votes for the candidates of your choice. Truro residents are entering a new era in how to cast their ballots - using the tools they handle every day from the comfort of their homes.
Excuses about inclement weather, I don't want to get dressed to go out or my car won't start have all gone out the window. All of the information you need to vote should now have arrived in your mailbox. You received a newsletter that told you about the process and the candidates. You should now have in your possession your personal information letter. It contains your personal identification number (PIN), and address and telephone number to access your choice of voting method- telephone or Internet.
If you haven't received this letter or have received one that has incorrect information (i.e. wrong address), you should call the returning office at 893-6084. We will be glad to help you with acquiring your letter or correcting mistakes
On Thursday, Oct. 11 at noon the voting will begin. We encourage everyone to vote early from home or from wherever you have access to a computer or a phone. We would like everyone to try this new process in your own private setting.
Take your letter. Read it carefully. Sit with it at your computer or at your phone. Go to the website or dial the number. Simply follow the commands. On both devices you will be asked to enter your personal identification number (PIN) and your birthdate (month, day, year). You will then vote for mayor, councillors for your ward and school board. It's as easy as that.
Those of you who don't have a computer at home, but would like to use one may go to one of the four sites listed in the letter. There you will use a touch screen computer. Personnel there will only be able to supply minimal help.
Those who need a higher level of assistance should go to the Truro civic building, located at 695 Prince St. There we will have computers with helpers (DROs) to guide you through the process. People will have to be patient here as it could require them to wait their turn, just as it did in the old voting days.
Remember to take your voter information letter with you if you choose to use one of these voting places.
Our wish at the returning office is that everyone will try this at home or at work. Perhaps someone could even help you. Some seniors' homes in the area will be providing assistance to their residents.
Voting takes place during a 10-day period so it should give everyone ample time to vote or get help. Since it is new to everyone, be patient. It does work.
Those of you with a computer can visit our website to see an eight minute demonstration of the process. Simply go to www.truro.ca, click on our Click or Call logo and then click on the video link. Our previous articles are also available there.
During the election period (Oct. 11-20) we will be posting on our web page, in the Truro Daily News and on local radio the voting activity for each day and recording a total count of how many people voted.
As this may be my last article I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and encouragements. When the final vote is cast, we will know how successful the townspeople of Truro have been in entering a new era of public participation in one of our fundamental rights and duties.
Vote early and do your part in setting the standard for Nova Scotia.
Jud Pearson is the returning officer for the Town of Truro.