VOTER TURNOUT IS IN THE TIM­ING

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

DID you bother to vote in the coun­cil elec­tions? If not, you should for­feit your right to com­plain about the de­ci­sions your coun­cil is go­ing to make. Maybe you are not too wor­ried about the low­est tier of gov­ern­ment, re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing lo­cal streets, sports cen­tres and com­mu­nity ser­vices, but you will know when the wrong per­son is voted in and you will kick your­self for not car­ing enough to vote. Off the back of the coun­cil amal­ga­ma­tion scare cou­pled with many im­pas­sioned vot­ers (par­tic­u­larly in the Cam­bridge may­oral elec­tion), the western sub­urbs largely bucked the trend with most coun­cils en­joy­ing an in­creased turnout rate per­cent­age. It could be a case of an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” men­tal­ity. City of Vin­cent Mayor John Carey thinks the tim­ing might have some­thing to do with the low rate. He said bal­lot pa­pers were sent out late this year, co­in­cid­ing with school hol­i­days, and he has ar­gued that the coun­cil elec­tion date should be moved to in­crease voter par­tic­i­pa­tion. I am for chang­ing the elec­tion date to get more peo­ple vot­ing and maybe it is time to con­sider ex­tend­ing com­pul­sory vot­ing to lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

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