WAKE UP & VOTE!

Apa­thetic vot­ers who slum­ber through coun­cil elec­tions de­serve ev­ery­thing they get, so ...

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

COM­PLA­CENT res­i­dents are mak­ing a mock­ery of democ­racy in the sub­urbs, with only a small frac­tion hav­ing both­ered to vote in this year’s coun­cil elec­tions.

Elec­tion of­fi­cials es­ti­mate as many as 70 per cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers will ig­nore the op­por­tu­nity to drive the fu­ture of their area.

With just a week to the vot­ing dead­line on Oc­to­ber 19, a look at the num­ber of re­turned bal­lots in the west­ern sub­urbs paints a poor pic­ture.

In 2017, 34.58 per cent of metropoli­tan vot­ers took part in the non-com­pul­sory elec­tions, and just 28.59 per cent made the ef­fort in 2015.

A WA Elec­toral Com­mis­sion spokes­woman said a sim­i­lar num­ber of postal bal­lots had been re­turned yes­ter­day com­pared with 2017, but re­vealed most elec­tors voted within the first week of re­ceiv­ing their postal vot­ing pack­ages. That means this elec­tion’s turnout will again strug­gle to reach one third.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion is even low in the City of Su­bi­aco, which had the third high­est par­tic­i­pa­tion rate of 46.15 per cent two years ago and has ma­jor devel­op­ment de­bates.

In Su­bi­aco’s East ward, just 21.69 per cent of bal­lot cards had been re­turned on Wed­nes­day with the South ward at­tract­ing the most re­turns at 28.18 per cent.

Su­bi­aco Mayor Penny Taylor said school hol­i­days may have con­trib­uted to the low num­ber of re­turned bal­lots.

“There’s still over 70 per cent of peo­ple who haven’t voted,” Ms Taylor said.

“South ward is a much smaller ward in Shen­ton Park with an en­gaged com­mu­nity in­ter­ested in coun­cil out­comes and this may be why

Con­tin­ued, page 4

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