A couple of US NGO's are teaming up to bring together two of the hottest accessories of the fall '08 season: a ballot and a flu shot. Working with interested local public health groups and election officials, Votes and Vax help to set up flu shot clinics inside or near voting stations.
It's not new, the program began in 1997 through the The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In the 2006 elections there were 127 Votes and Vax stations in the US delivering almost 14,000 shots. This year they plan on having 1000 stations.
It's a great way of combining two important issues. Also, if it means that a few voters in high-risk groups end up getting a shot that they might ordinarily forget about OR that a few flu shot regulars end up voting, something that most Americans tend to forget about, it's a great public service.
Now that Canada has gone with fixed election dates, (except of course when the Conservatives are in power as, despite it being their legislation, they still seem to retain the right to call an election when THEY want) ,Canada should do something similar.
Between municipalities, the feds and some provinces, most elections will now be held on fixed dates. You could introduce flu shot clinics, perhaps home furnace maintenance clinics, snow tire installation and a whole host of other things. Instead of being a "dash-in, dash-out" event it could be more of a "Get Ready for Winter"venue of which an election is just one feature !