Our heavily contested municipal election has returned veteran politicians, Gord Wauchope and Lynn Dollin, as new mayor and deputy mayor while returning 3 incumbent councillors and electing 4 new ones. Congratulations to the newly elected and, a thanks for service to those leaving.
I’m not sure what this result means for the Town. Our first glimpse of intentions and priorities will be from the next year’s budget.
The surprising outcome is that voter turnout declined to 40% from 46% during the previous election in 2010. Only 10,479 votes were cast out of 26,116 eligible voters. The number of candidates was thought to reflect higher voter interest in this election. Some candidates made a concerted effort to boost online participation and the electronic voting option was expected to increase convenience for residents. In fact, 56% of votes were cast online but the option didn’t motivate more people to participate. Were some non-voters new residents, others unfamiliar with issues or candidates, or have we become so cynical to think it doesn’t matter?
So what happened? Why did you vote – or not vote – in this election? What are you expecting from your new council?