With uniformed officers sworn in as Deputy Returning Officers, advanced polls for the Canadian general election have been conducted throughout the past week at undisclosed bases in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan.
Rob Weber of Canadian Press reports:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — As rifle fire echoed from the nearby practice range,soldiers lined up Saturday night at a remote operating base in Afghanistan to
cast ballots in advance polling for the Oct. 14 federal election.
Despite being far from home, Canadian soldiers stationed here are taking a keen interest in the federal election. About 75 per cent of those stationed at this forward operating base voted over the course of the last week, some only hours after
trading shots with Taliban insurgents.
Capt. Reeves takes pride in running a proper polling station. Elections Canada stipulates that all parties are allowed to send scrutineers and must be provided with a chair. “None of the political parties showed up, but if they did, I would have given them a chair,” he smiled.
There is also a sense of congruity, too. Civic responsibility in general, and voting in particular, is fundamental to the mission in Kandahar.
The presence of the polling station has also served Canada's broader goals in Afghanistan, said Capt. Reeves. Afghans working on the base have shown plenty of curiosity about what's going on.
“One of the reasons we're here is to show Afghans how democracy works,” Capt. Reeves said. “They see what we're doing.”Capt. Reeves takes pride in running a proper polling station. Elections Canada stipulates that all parties are allowed to send scrutineers and must be provided with a chair.
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Photo Credit: Bob Weber, Canadian Press