November 07, 2014 - 7:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - If advance polling numbers are any indication, we could see more than 35,000 people voting in the 2014 civic election and a group trying to encourage a higher voter turnout is excited about that possibility.
In the first two days more than 1,200 people cast ballots, up significantly from the 663 ballots cast in the first two days of advance voting during the 2011 civic election.
"Advance polling turnouts are awesome so far," Will George of Kamloops Vote 50 says. "If we keep this up we're going to rock for an increased voter turnout."
Kamloops Vote 50 is aiming to increase voter turnout to 50 per cent from the 29 per cent that voted in 2011. If the trends from advance voting continue, Kamloops could see a 50 per cent turnout.
To combat the low turnout the group has been hosting more all-candidate forums and mixers and engaging members of the public to act as vote ambassadors. George says both the public and candidates have been encouraged by the number of opportunities to engage and that is bringing a lot of new voters out to the polls.
In addition to at least daily events leading up to the Nov. 15 election day the group is also running a selfie contest. Voters are encouraged to post a photo to Twitter of them with their 'I voted' sticker with the hashtag and tag @KamloopsVote50 in the picture with the tagline 'it's your turn.'
In 2011 just under 20,000 of the 65,000 eligible voters actually voted. The only B.C. communities that saw a 50 per cent or higher turnout have less than 10,000 eligible voters.
There will be another advance voting day on Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Heritage House, 100 Lorne St. Election day will take place Saturday, Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at locations across the city. Mobile polling stations will also be set up at Thompson Rivers University and care homes around the city in the days before the election.
Kamloops will elect one mayor, eight city councillors and five school trustees.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014