Have your say this voting day

Only 37 per cent of eligible voters voted in the 2011 election in Rossland

  • Nov. 12, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Alicia Wallace

Rossland News

Voter participation is dwindling. BC Stats has recognized that “across established democracies, the proportion of citizens who turn out to vote has been on a steady decline since the 1960s. British Columbia is no exception.

“The provincial average for the 2011 Municipal Elections saw 29.5 per cent of eligible voters take to the polls. Rossland, while higher than the provincial average, has also experienced a similar downward trend. In 2008, 51 per cent of eligible voters had a representation in Rossland’s Municipal Election, this fell to only 37 per cent in the 2011 election.”

A BC Stats report titled Exploring Voting Behaviour In British Columbia 2009, found that “a citizen is more likely to vote if they perceive that their vote will have an effect on the outcome of the election.” CivicInfo BC, who facilitates free information regarding local government across the province, estimates there to be 2,587 eligible voters in Rossland. Thirty-seven per cent of 2,587 voters are only 958 people! This is certainly a figure that makes it ironic when people say their vote does not count.

Todd Pugh, Executive Director of CivicInfo BC said, “Typically the smaller the community, the higher the voter turn-out.” In the 2011 municipal election, neighbouring towns Montrose and Trail similarly exceeded provincial voter turnout averages with 44 per cent and 31.5 per cent of eligible voters taking to the polls respectively.

The BC Stats 2009 report also found that 70 to 79 year olds are the most consistent voters. Rossland residents have a median age of 39.9, making this older demographic a small portion of eligible voters for our city. The bulk of Rossland’s eligible voters are aged between 30 and 59 years, accounting for an estimated 73.65 per cent of eligible voters.

The BC Stats report also found that those from households with higher median incomes, larger proportions of older individuals, and a greater proportion of university educated citizens are more likely to participate and be consistent voters.

Rossland’s community organizations and the City of Rossland are doing their part to ensure every eligible voter takes to the polls for the November 15 election. The Rossland Rotary Club organized an All Candidates Forum while the City has placed information in all post office boxes and the local grocery store encouraging residents to vote.

Squamish council candidate and former Arnold Schwarzenegger stunt double, Peter Kent, has gone one better and pledged to set himself on fire if voter turnout exceeds their 2011 level of 40 per cent. A pledge Rossland candidates will probably, and understandably, not be matching.

You can pre-register to vote at Rossland’s City Hall or at a polling place on election day. Two pieces of identification, including one piece with a signature are required. You must have been a Canadian Citizen and living in B.C. prior to May 13, 2014 to register to vote on general voting day.

This November 15 help steer the direction of your community’s future for the next four-year term by voting!

 

Just Posted

Province announces $2.5-million boost to increase tourism in B.C.’s resort towns

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Rossland moves forward on single-use plastic bag ban bylaw

Bylaw given first reading at last council meeting

Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

Upbeat visit brings message of hope and co-operation among Kootenay forestry players

Recycle major appliances for free in Kootenay Boundary

Free service begins May 1; Refrigerant appliances not included at Greater Trail regional landfill

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

Angel Flight East Kootenay will fly medical patients to Kelowna or Vancouver

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Family dog stolen from Kootenay backyard

RCMP appealing for information on pregnant Karelian bear dog missing from Elko, B.C.

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Most Read