Their dream would put Kamloops voters on top

Election signs spell out 'VOTE :)'

KAMLOOPS - A group is sharing their dreams of having half of all eligible voters actually vote in the upcoming municipal elections, which would put Kamloops in the top third of all B.C. communities for voter turnout.

In 2011 only 29.76 per cent of the more than 65,000 eligible voters in Kamloops cast ballots. In 2014 Kamloops Vote 50 hopes to increase that turnout to 50 per cent, which would put Kamloops in a league of its own.

In 2011 only 35 of 160 B.C. communities saw a 50 per cent or high voter turnout — another 12 saw council fully acclaimed — but not a single one of those communities has more than 10,000 eligible voters. If Kamloops is successful in attracting a 50 voter turnout it could be the only larger community to reach that level.

Kamloops Vote 50 has been meeting since April and the steering committee, comprised of 17 members, says they have a plan to get another 14,500 people voting. They point to people not feeling informed, accessibility of polling stations or simply not thinking their vote will matter as the reason why voter turnout hovers around 30 per cent.

With plans to get people excited about civic politics and make sure everyone has a ride to their voting place, they believe voter turnout can jump to 50 per cent in the November election. At launch events this month a vote ambassador program, aimed at getting people to engage others in voting, will be unveiled.

The group will host two launch events over the next week, one at Zack’s Coffees, Teas and Gifts, 377 Victoria Street on Thursday, Sept. 4 and another at Red Beard Cafe, 499 Tranquille Road on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Both ‘coffee and conversation’ nights will run from 5-8 p.m.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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