The issue of low voter turnout is often raised during election campaigns. This is very common during federal elections where voter turnout has hovered around 60% for over a decade.
However, there is much less attention paid to low voter turnout in municipal elections, which hovers around only 25%! Too few citizens exercise their right to vote in elections that affect many aspects of citizens’ daily lives. Though local issues can seem mundane compared to national and international issues, they affect our homes and neighbourhoods and shape our regular routines in many ways. So it’s important that more citizens voice their choice for the representatives who will make critical local decisions over the next four years.
What can be done to get more people to the polls on October 22? It’s certainly a complicated issue with no simple solution. However, we can start by getting informed about where and when to vote. I’ve posted much of this general information on my website under “Voting”.
You can also find out your specific voting information. Go to voterlookup.ca and enter some basic information to ensure you are registered for this fall’s election. Doing this soon means you will receive a voter card in the mail with your exact election day voting location. Simply being informed about how to vote encourages people to cast their ballot.
Citizen engagement is a key part of my election platform. I hope engagement continues between elections, but getting out and having your say on election day is a key step. And there’s reason to be optimistic we can improve voter turnout: the rate increased significantly in both the last federal election and the recent provincial election. Let’s work to see that trend continue in this fall’s municipal election.
Find out about voting, make a plan to do so, and encourage friends, family and neighbours to get out and vote this fall.