Ride Like The Wind

It’s been a busy week here in the shop, as the Premier called a by-election for District #2 and we’ve been working with Elections PEI to fire up the boilers for the confirmation process — a door to door canvas of every address in the district.

In ye olde times this was done starting from a blank slate; with changes to legislation before the 2003 Provincial Election, Elections PEI now maintains a Register of Electors, and Reinvented maintains the “computer-based system” referenced in section 24.1 (4) of the Election Act:

The Register may be created or revised manually by means of any computer-based system and may be maintained in printed form or may be stored in any computer-based system or any other information storage device that is capable of reproducing any required information in legible form within a reasonable time.

The “computer-based system” is a RedHat Enterprise Linux-based server stored inside a vault (really — it has two floors) and the “information storage device” is a MySQL database, maintained with a set of custom PHP applications.

Once the locations for the polling stations were nailed down by the Returning Officer for the district yesterday, we burned a cut of the Register for District #2 along with a base PDF file of the “Confirmation Record” and provided these to the Queen’s Printer to do a print run on their extremely fast and capable Xerox Docutech machine. By mid-afternoon, just over 2,400 forms, in duplicate, will be packaged up in binders and on their way to the Confirmation Officers in the district who, over the next several days, will go door to door making adds, edits and deletes on the printed forms.

Early next week, the forms will come back to Elections PEI and the Register of Electors will be updated using the web-based system, and the following morning we’ll run the Preliminary List of Electors.

Working with Elections PEI is always thrilling, interesting work: there’s no margin for error, and the timeframes are always very compressed.

By the way, Elections PEI now has an RSS feed. It’s a low-volume feed that mirrors the news items on the Elections PEI home page.