But I did not shoot the deputy.
That gives me some measure of comfort, as I've been signed up to be a Deputy Returning Officer for the election on the 23rd.
When I was approached about it, I thought- Sure! Deputy Returning Officer... how hard can that be? The Deputy is always the foil for the Sheriff. There'll be someone else in charge. I'll be the helper. Great! No problem!
I find out that the Returning Officer, the Head Honcho, the Guy In Charge, the "Sheriff" if you will, is actually in charge of the whole district, and he has a little army of Deputies out there running the actual Polling Stations.
So, now I find myself attending a training session, and growing increasingly alarmed as the enormity of the position I've undertaken comes home to me. I leave armed with a training manual, a ballot box and voting screen to assemble, and echoes of "Phone Barry" reverberating through my head. (Barry is the Returning Officer... if anything untoward happens, "Phone Barry!") I, and I alone, am permitted to handle your vote... if you happen to be in that polling district. I must set up the Polling Station. I must take it down. I must count the ballots. If I am not there, (if I must attend a call of nature, for example) the Polling Station will be temporarily closed. If there's a dispute with a Candidate's representative with regards to the acceptability of a ballot, I have the final say. That's a lot of responsibility!
I am having a recurring nightmare that on election day all the results will be in except for Prince Albert North, where there has been a seventh counting of the ballots and the Deputy Returning Officer has been remanded for questioning.