The news sites have been full of the BC municipal elections over the past few months. November 15 is the regular voting day across BC and advance polls are already happening in many communities, so it’s time to have your say.
Municipal elections always seem to have the lowest voter turnout of for any level of government and the trend is not getting better. That’s unfortunate because the municipality is in charge of the things that touch us all on a daily basis. Everything from roads to sewers to transit to sidewalks and curb cuts to building code permits to bylaws to local parks to traffic lights to swimming pools to snow clearing…all of these items are partially or totally managed by your local community. Because the voter turnout is generally low, each ballot has a higher impact on who gets elected.
Not sure who to vote for? Most communities have public forums where you can learn about each candidate and ask questions. Media outlets carry candidate profiles, covering the issues that are important to voters. Most candidates now have a presence on social media so you can contact them directly to ask about their position on topics important to you. By asking those questions you are also letting candidates know what is important to the voters. This will have an influence on them as they govern, even if it isn’t immediately apparent.
Remember that you only have to mark your ballot for the candidates you really want to vote for. If eight councilors are to be elected, your vote will be counted even if you only choose the three you actually support.
So regardless of your political beliefs or affiliations, I encourage you to make your voice heard and make a difference in how your municipality is run over the next four years. Luckily, with today’s new accessible voting tools and technologies, having your say is easier than ever before.