Smithers Interior News Editorial

Smithers Interior News Editorial

EDITORIAL: Get out and vote

There’s really no excuse for not voting

Municipal elections are notorious for poor voter turnout.

In 2018, the last time Smithers had a full election, 1,812 people out of an eligible 3,856 voter pool cast ballots. That’s just 46.9 per cent.

In the 2020 byelection, only 1,269 people voted, roughly 33 per cent. Granted, byelections, by virtue of not as much being at stake, tend to attract fewer voters.

Still, it’s pathetic. Election, after election, after election, more than half of the voting population stays home.

Basically a majority of us think, it just doesn’t matter.

But it does matter.

It matters a lot.

For the next four years, the people who sit in the chamber on Aldous Street will be the ones making all the decisions about how our money is spent and what this town is going to be like.

When asked, the number one reason non-voters give for not voting is ‘I’m not interested in politics.’

Not interested in politics, like politics is some nebulous entity unto itself.

At the municipal level, politics is drinking water, indoor plumbing, cleared streets in winter, recreational and cultural opportunities, public safety, property taxes and the list goes on and on.

How can any person who has the opportunity to have their input on those things by casting a ballot be ‘not interested in politics’?

It is confounding.

There are so many good reasons for voting. Sometimes it’s voting for something you want to happen to happen. Sometimes it’s voting for something you don’t want to happen not to happen.

And it’s so easy. There are multiple opportunities and it takes almost no time and all.

There is really no excuse for not voting.

There seems to be quite a bit of engagement in the current election, but the proof is in the ballots cast.

Come on, Smithers, let’s break the pattern of apathy.

Whatever your reasons, get out and vote on Saturday.

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