EDITORIAL: Civic elections require voters

Casting a ballot only takes a few minutes, yet few take opportunity.

If you don’t vote, why?

In the last civic election in Nanaimo, in 2008, about one-third of eligible voters bothered to set aside a few moments on a Saturday to fill out a ballot.

It’s not as if the process is difficult.

In fact, the way it is organized makes it easy as pie to exercise the franchise on a municipal election.

Voters simply need to find a nearby school and mark the ballot.

Pick eight councillors – or pick one, or three, or five, or none – from the 22 names on the ballot. It’s up to you.

Pick one of the four names on the mayoral ticket.

Pick from 13 names on the board of education list.

It might take you a half-hour – an hour tops – to leave home, vote and return in plenty of time to catch Hockey Night in Canada.

For whatever reason, the majority of Nanaimo residents don’t vote at the one level of government that most affects them.

Property taxes, garbage fees, recreation costs, those potholes on the street in front of your house and, yes, that proposed social housing project in the north end – they are all issues controlled by city hall.

By filling out a ballot, you have some say on who at city hall will control the issues that most affect you, financially and socially.

It would be interesting to know why most of us don’t vote.

If you happen to be a voter who doesn’t cast a ballot in civic elections, tell us why.

Maybe there are explanations we hadn’t considered.

If we receive some responses, we will publish them in a future edition.

– Black Press

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