VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – People are lining up across BC today to vote for the municipal candidates they feel will serve them best.
Political Scientist Hamish Telford with the University of Fraser Valley says if voter numbers are higher than the last election, it could mean a favourable outcome for the challenger.
“It suggests that people are concerned and motivated to vote as opposed to people who are satisfied with the status quo, generally that doesn’t generate enthusiasm,” he explains. “Although you know, it could be a fear factor. If you think the challenger is a serious candidate and you don’t like that person’s policies and politics than you might want to come out and defend the current government.”
When it comes to advance polling numbers, Telford says those have to be dealt with very carefully.
“We have seen over the last number of elections, at all levels of government, turnout increasing at advance polling but not necessarily materializing in higher turnout overall. That’s because political strategists are taking advantage of the advanced polling, directing their voters to the advanced polls, locking in their votes, then turning their attention to others.”
He says high voter turnout during advanced polls doesn’t necessarily mean overall turnout will be high.
In Vancouver, many people didn’t mind waiting to mark a ballot, saying the voting is a democratic right that should be exercised.
“It’s our future so we should use our vote to shape how we want our future to be,” explains one man.
“It’s our civic duty and it’s our privilege,” says one woman.
“It’s our right to vote and, you know, especially just having Remembrance Day and stuff, they fought for our freedom so we should be definitely voting and honouring them.”
Polls are open until 8 p.m. Saturday.