September 10, 2014 - 2:59 PM
KAMLOOPS - What better way to increase voter turnout than by placing a wager on it?
Coun. Arjun Singh is a supporter of the Kamloops 50 initiative, a group looking to increase voter turnout in the November election to 50 per cent from just under 30 per cent as happened in 2011, and he's extending a friendly wager to a couple other cities to boost interest.
He wanted to extend the challenge to Kelowna and Prince George and while there was some laughter from council over the fact Kelowna did actually beat Kamloops in 2011, most were more than willing to engage in a friendly competition. Mayor Peter Milobar did note they are placing a wager a future council will have to fulfill and said the decision over what is at stake should maybe be made after the elections.
Kelowna, with 90,600 eligible voters, had a 33 per cent voter turnout in the last election while Prince George saw 28.5 per cent of 52,709 voters come out. Kamloops had just over 65,000 eligible votes in 2011. Province-wide the turnout in 2011 was 29.55 per cent, not including fully acclaimed councils.
This is not the first time Kamloops council has put a wager on the table with another city. Last year Kamloops lost to Nanaimo in the Earth Hour Challenge but the city readily beat Kelowna thanks to a wager on the Blazers to beat the Rockets in round two of Western Hockey League Play (the Blazers won the best of seven series 4-0 in 2013.)
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014