EDITORIAL: Not too hard to cast a vote

NANAIMO – Short of sticking a ballot under people’s noses, Elections B.C. has made it easier to vote.

If the last time B.C. voters went to the polls is any indication, they’re just as likely not to cast a ballot in today’s (May 14) provincial election as they are to mark their X.

In 2009 just 50 per cent of eligible voters turned out at the polls to make their voice heard.

In fact voter turnout has been declining steadily since 1983, when 70 per cent of eligible voters exercised their franchise.

It’s not like voting is hard work.

Short of knocking on front doors and sticking a ballot under people’s noses, Elections B.C. has made it increasingly easier and more convenient to vote.

Advance polls were open through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters could also cast their ballot at their nearest electoral office from the call of the election right up until election day.

There’s an electoral office in every riding and they are open until 4 p.m.

It was even possible to vote by mail.

Residents who won’t be in their electoral district on voting day can vote in any other riding in the province.

In Comox, voters could stay in their cars, as a drive-thru polling station was set up at a former car dealership.

And while Elections B.C. studied the viability of online voting, there’s no guarantee that would increase voter participation.

In Markham, Ont., where residents have been allowed to vote online in the past three municipal elections, participation didn’t increase, but it also didn’t decline.

Throughout the election campaign, the News Bulletin provided information on all the candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan, Nanaimo and Parksville-Qualicum ridings. We covered the issues key to the central Island to hopefully help the voter make an informed decision.

We published a list of advanced polling stations and where to vote today.

So really, there’s no excuse not to vote. Just get out and do it.


Black Press