Editorial: Votes count, voting matters

When we arrive at the polls on Saturday (Nov. 15), we’ll have made a choice – do something, or do nothing.

There will be a lot of choice on the ballot on election day this Saturday (Nov. 15).

Before we arrive at the polls that day, though, we’ll have made another choice – do something, or do nothing. We hope that every eligible voter in Nanaimo will make the choice to do something, and go vote.

You’re a more informed voter than you think. You’ve seen the signs and you might have heard the robocalls, scanned the headlines and recycled the pamphlets. If you cared, there were Facebook posts, news articles, all-candidates meetings and conversations in coffee shops.

Sometimes those dozens of candidates can blend together. But a closer look reveals that there are indeed distinctions, and these men and women are individuals, to be sure, and they will bring their own set of personalities and priorities to council chambers or the boardroom.

Still stumped? Don’t be. There are no skill-testing questions at the polling station. You don’t have to vote for nine council members and nine trustees. If only one candidate earned your vote, then you can make just one pencil mark.

Your vote matters, and we don’t buy any argument that it doesn’t. Yes, your vote is just one vote among thousands, but in another sense, it’s so much more. It represents rights and freedoms, wants and needs, action and activism, thoughts and feelings, vision and voice. Your vote counts as just one ballot, one tally, but it should feel so much more significant than that, because it’s yours, and not only does it matter to you, it matters to Nanaimo.

Voting isn’t mandatory, obviously, but we think of it as a sort of civic duty. Really, very little is asked of those of us who wish to be contributing members of society. Pay taxes. Walk on the sidewalks. Don’t double dip chips. Oh, and please vote.

Election day is our chance to ask for more, demand better, effect change and make a difference. It’s our chance to do something.