Central Saanich is seeking to increase voter turnout at the polls when the local election voting begins on October 10 with the first advance voting opportunity. Electors are asked to cast a ballot for six councillors and two Saanich School District trustees (Mayor Ryan Windsor was elected by acclamation).
“We are taking extra steps this election to make voting as easy as possible,” said Chief Administrative Officer Patrick Robins, who notes just 36 per cent of eligible voters turned out in the 2014 municipal election.
One of those steps was to compile a Candidate Profile Guide to assist voters in learning about candidates. All candidates were given the opportunity to submit a brief profile, photo and contact information to introduce themselves and their platforms to the electors. The profile is available at centralsaanich.ca/election or by visiting Municipal Hall.
For the first time this year, polling stations will hand out I Voted stickers to voters as well as Future Voter stickers for children, in an effort to make voting a familiar activity for youth.
The municipality also has images available on its website for sharing on social media along with the hashtag #CSaanVotes.
“Municipal elections do not generally have a high voter turnout, and yet our local governments play an integral role in our communities”, said Robins. “We want to see new voters in 2018. We know if someone votes as soon as they are eligible, they are more likely to be a lifelong voter. We’re also encouraging parents to bring the next generation of voters to the polls and demonstrate the importance of voting.”
General local elections are the most direct way for residents to influence their local government and school district by determining the individuals who then make decisions and govern on their behalf. Local governments are responsible for delivering core services and shaping their communities.
In addition to general voting on October 20, there are three advance voting days at Municipal Hall, 1903 Mount Newton Cross Road, to allow ample opportunities to voters:
- Wednesday, October 10, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, October 13, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 17, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
General Voting Day is Saturday, October 20, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and residents may choose to vote at either of the two polling stations:
- Individual Learning Centre at 1649 Mount Newton Cross Road (former Saanichton Elementary School) or
- Central Saanich Cultural Centre at 1209 Clarke Road (same facility as Central Saanich Library).
If you are not registered, you can register at the polls, given you are eligible. Eligibility criteria, information on mail ballot voting and more, is available at centralsaanich.ca/election.
Residents are encouraged to contact Central Saanich if they have any questions at 250-652-4444 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.