During the last Federal election in Canada, my roommate and I decided to go vote. As proud citizens, it wasn’t our first time voting, but it was the first time we were voting in this province. It meant that we weren’t registered yet, and so we had to look up what we needed to do.
The instructions on the website were pretty straight forward. As long as I had a current driver’s license with my address, I would be able to vote without registering. We decided using our license would be the easiest option, so we lined up on Election Day to vote.
My roommate was right in front of me in the line, and she was able to vote without any problems. When it was my turn though, the Conservative Party scrutineer lurched forward and interrupted the elections official helping me.
“I’d like to challenge his citizenship” the scrutineer said.
The elections official dismissed him pretty quickly, and did not seem impressed. The scrutineer responded angrily,
“That’s all he needs?”
He didn’t try to hide his disappointment. Nor did he bother looking at me or attempt to apologize.
It was clear that he doubted my citizenship because I’m not white. My roommate went right before me, and he didn’t say a word. It felt horrible to be reminded of white privilege when I was trying to vote.
I went to go vote in my country, and I was basically told by someone who represents the ruling party that “real” Canadians were white. Needless to say, I did not vote for his party that day. And I probably never will.
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