For the first time ever, voters in Vancouver’s upcoming civic election will be able to cast their ballot at any of the voting locations across the city, depending on which location is most convenient.
“We want to ensure we do everything possible to make voting in the municipal election as easy and convenient as possible,” said the City of Vancouver’s Chief Election Officer Janice MacKenzie.
“Statistics show voters increasingly like the convenience and flexibility of advance voting. By adding additional locations, days, extended hours, and extra support we hope voters will take advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballot to shape Vancouver’s future.”
During advance voting, voting place staff will also test several accessibility aids that help people with disabilities cast their vote, including a sip and puff device, an audio system with headphones to read the ballot, and a magnification device to enlarge the ballot.
In addition to the option to vote anywhere, the City is also expanding the number of advance voting days and locations in hopes of providing as many opportunities as possible for voters to participate, since low voter turnout continues to be a problem.
In the 2011 municipal election, Vancouver voter participation reached 35 percent of eligible voters, a four percent increase over the 2008 election. On average, turnout for local-government elections was 29.55 per cent throughout B.C. in 2011.
“We continue to see a concerning trend of low voter turnout for elections at all levels of government and especially at the local government level,” MacKenzie added. “The low turnout is particularly noticeable among younger voters. Our 2014 election outreach has a significant focus on young people and engaging them in our democratic process.”
Featured Image: Voting via Shutterstock