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Poor voter turnout continues to be an issue in BC

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Despite a big push to get the vote out, the turnout is not much better than the last election.

Advance voting was up, but preliminary numbers show an overall turnout of about 52 per cent, just slightly higher than in 2009.

Simon Fraser University marketing professor Lindsay Meredith thinks the challenge continues to be with the younger generation.

“That whole crowd we see between say 18 and about 35 or so, that crowd, they are the ones you gotta try and figure a way to get to,” he explains.

Meredith says Elections BC did a good job trying to get people out to vote. He’s not sure what else can be done. “Other countries, Australia for example, put in penalties. You don’t vote, we nail you. In other words, democracy is not a right. Democracy is a responsibility.”

Meredith says as long as the youth vote isn’t there, the party that best targets the older generations will win the election.

As far as the NDP are concerned, many are wondering if they should have run a more negative campaign.

Meredith thinks so, as long as it wasn’t personal.

“You know what? There’s probably nothing wrong with negative advertising as long as you’re keeping it back to the other party’s economic policies, some of the things they did legally or not legally. Things of that sort would be much more relevent,” he says.

Meredith thinks the NDP could have pushed harder on issues like the HST and BC Rail.