Turnout in Vernon municipal election remains low | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Turnout in Vernon municipal election remains low

October 22, 2018 - 2:00 PM

VERNON - Like most communities in B.C., voter turnout continued to be low in the Vernon municipal election and officials say it may be an indication residents are happy with the direction the city is going.

Voter turnout during this year's Vernon election was just under 32 per cent, according to data from CivicInfoBC. Out of the 30,602 eligible voters in the city, only 9,755 cast ballots.

Mayor-elect Victor Cumming calls the turnout this year "consistent" with what Vernon has seen in the past.

"If this one had been unusual then I would have concerns but it was basically consistent," Cumming says. "I think it's a real issue for local government, in general, they handle very significant things with communities and yet we end up with small turnout relative to provincial or federal elections."

City of Vernon communications manager Nick Nilson agrees it's normal for municipal election turnouts to be lower than provincial or federal elections. He says to get a turnout around 30 to 35 per cent is "kind of where we hoped to be."

"Often a lower turn out indicates that people are relatively happy with the direction that the city is going," Nilson says. "And the fact that they re-elected all the incumbents that ran again is evidence that, I think, people are happy in the direction the city is going." 

The voter turnout in the last Vernon municipal election in 2014 was 33.53 per cent, while in 2011 it was 32.75 per cent and just over 27 per cent in 2008.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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