Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 18: Freedom to Vote

I drove slowly down to our Three Hills polling station at about 5:15, expecting to "do my duty".

I walked into the room and was called over to the registration table. "Oh, we know you, Karyn - you don't need ID," the volunteer told me with a smile.

And as she said that, it hit me: this is the first time I wasn't required to show ID or search for my name on a list. I am now part of this little community, for better or for worse. And my vote actually matters; I am responsible, in whatever small measure, in the direction of how Three Hills moves.

Another change this time around: I had to fish around in my purse for my reading glasses. THAT was brutal, and a wake-up call. More questions surfaced: How long am I planning on living in Trois Lumps? Will I be retiring here? Apparently it's getting closer than I want to admit. And if I am settling in for the long haul, it becomes even more important for me to choose carefully who I want to lead my town for the next years.

I had of course decided before I went to vote who I was NOT going to vote for. It seemed easier to remember - shorter list, defined reasons. But as I went behind the rickety cardboard box that serves as a polling booth, and I studied the instructions on the sheet in front of me, I pondered each name and thought about what it is that each was bringing to the table that would benefit our town.


And then I marked my ballot. As I folded it up again, I said a prayer that God would have His hand on Tim Shearlaw, our new mayor, and the councillors who would be elected and who would be working with him. I did the same thing in the next room where I voted for the school board trustee. Our town has gone through a lot of turbulence in the last little while, with Prairie in a state of flux and businesses closing and the prospects looking gloomy and defeated.

But with this election, as well as with the changes at Prairie, we have a chance for a new start, a chance for fresh vision and a renewed sense of purpose for our town.

And when I got to Edmonton later that night and I read in the news about how a Muslim woman in Ontario is insisting on wearing her naqib in a court of law so that no one can see her face, I was once again so grateful for the volunteer's smile of recognition as I went to vote. I was so grateful that I live in a community, in a culture, where I am free to be myself.

Where I don't have to hide. 

Where how I vote counts.

Where who I am as an individual woman matters.

Unofficial Results, as posted in the Red Deer Advocate online*:

Town of Three Hills

Mayor results:

Timothy J. Shearlaw (acclaimed)

Council results:
(elect six)

Leo Harold — 722 (elected)
Vernon Wiebe — 696 (elected)
Al Campbell — 600 (elected)
Ronald Howe — 591 (elected)
David Nadeau — 580 (elected)
Lee Terry — 560 (elected)
Terry Ann Diack — 541
Daryl Notter — 504
Troy Yeaman — 410

* Results for the School Board Trustee unavailable at this site


  1. Good for Three Hills -- Tim is going to be a great mayor. Congratulations to all.


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