Bring a friend to the polls

I’ve been racking my brains trying to come up with reasons to make sure you get out and cast your ballot in the elections this Saturday

I’ve been racking my brains trying to come up with passionate and powerful reasons to make sure you are compelled to get out and cast your ballot in the municipal elections this Saturday, Nov. 19.

But to be honest, I have nothing you probably haven’t heard before.

• Voting is critical to the democratic system. A democratic community can only survive if its citizens see participation in the political process as a duty and a responsibility.

• People have laid down their lives so you have the right to help choose your leaders. There’s another alternative to democracy – it’s called dictatorship.

• Voting connects citizens with their political process. The simple act of marking a ballot tells our leaders what we think about decisions that affect our lives, such as how much taxation we think is fair or what issues we think are most important.

I may be preaching to the converted anyway, as studies have shown that people who read newspapers regularly are also much more likely to head to the polls.

So for those of you who already planned to vote, make it your mission to push, pull or drag a friend out to the polling station. Voter turnout in municipal elections across the province is historically low, with roughly two-thirds of voters not bothering to mark their X. Young people are notoriously lax when it comes to voting, so if you can grab someone under 35 all the better.

The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday at three polling stations: the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union Recreation Centre, North Canoe Community Hall and Gleneden Hall. Any eligible voter can vote at whichever location they choose.

There is no need to preregister to vote; however, you must have resided in B.C. for at least six months and have owned property or have resided in the City of Salmon Arm for 30 days.

Two pieces of identification are required, which will prove both residency and identity, but picture identification is not necessary.

Keep in mind, while you can cast your vote for six councillors, you are not obliged to vote for that many. While the electronic voting resembles those “bubble tests” you used to take in high school, the preferred method of voting is not to close your eyes, spin your pencil over the paper and fill in whatever circle your point hits just to make six marks on the paper. If you only feel comfortable voting for three candidates, that is entirely up to you.

To reiterate: Vote this Saturday. Bring a friend. Bring ID.

And for the latest news on who gets elected, check out our website at www.saobserver.net. We will post results as soon as they are issued Saturday night which, thanks to electronic voting, should be before 9 p.m.

Just Posted

Open house to reveal proposed changes to Balmoral intersection on Trans-Canada Highway

The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce has already provided input to the ministry

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Salmon Arm residents learn how to protect properties from wildfire

Removing debris from forest floor can help stop fires from spreading

Thunderstorm leaves small fire near Adams Lake in its wake

Wildfire crews in the Kamloops Fire Centre are also fighting a small blaze near Kamloops

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

‘This is unbelievable:’ Raptors dazzled by massive crowds at downtown Toronto parade

Mayor John Tory declares it ‘We The North Day’ after team’s historic NBA title win

North Okanagan adds wildfire protection

“The important message we would like to get out is that there are actions that people can take to make their homes less susceptible to the threat of wildfires”

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Portion of Okanagan highway closed due to vehicle incident

Accident happened on Highway 6 a few kilometres east of the Village of Lumby; detour in effect

More student housing for UBC Okangan

B.C. government to build $25-million, on-campus building to address high demand, low vacancy rate

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Most Read