The slow rate of bal­lot re­turns

LESS THAN 22 PER CENT BACK

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

JUST days from the elec­tion of new city coun­cil­lors, postal re­turns for City of Cock­burn are un­der par com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

Over the three wards, less than 22 per cent of postal votes had been re­turned by the week­end.

East ward has the low­est re­turn rate with just 17.70 per cent of the 22,565 com­ing back.

In an ef­fort to en­cour­age greater par­tic­i­pa­tion, may­oral can­di­date Cha­monix Terblanche and East ward can­di­dates Steve Green­wood and Anita de Klerk tar­geted peak hour traf­fic last week with traf­fic signs stat­ing ‘If you don’t vote, you can’t com­plain!’.

“There has been a large di­vide in the Cock­burn com­mu­nity in the past year,” Cr Terblanche said.

“As such we are try­ing to mo­ti­vate more res­i­dents to cast their votes so they can have a coun­cil that they feel are more rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the views of our Cock­burn com­mu­nity.”

Of the 23,838 postal votes sent across Cen­tral ward, just 20.49 per cent had been re­turned.

West ward was slightly higher at 24.90 per cent.

In 2015, voter par­tic­i­pa­tion for the City of Cock­burn lo­cal elec­tion was 25.5 per cent.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter David Tem­ple­man said in­ef­fi­cient and poorly run coun­cils can re­sult in poor de­ci­sion mak­ing and de­ci­sions that aren’t rep­re­sen­ta­tive of all seg­ments of the com­mu­nity.

“It is es­sen­tial that ev­ery­one – re­gard­less of age, gen­der or cul­tural back­ground – has their say, and I en­cour­age all lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to get in­formed, and in­volved.”

Vot­ing pack­ages were sent in late Septem­ber.

Bal­lot pa­pers must be re­ceived and signed by Oc­to­ber 21.

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