In case you couldn’t tell by all the signs peppering the city, there is an election going down in St. John’s. I’m not here to tell you who to vote for, frankly, I don’t care; I’m just telling you TO VOTE.
The last municipal election held in St. John’s saw a voter turnout of 52 percent. Basically, half the city didn’t vote. Just to put things into perspective, voter turnout in the 2016 US election was 58 percent, and look how that turned out.
For all you MUN students who might say “well my vote doesn’t matter”, you’re wrong. When BarackObama was first elected in 2008, 66 percent of voters aged 18-29 helped him win the election. More recently and closer to home, the 2015 Canadian federal election saw an increase in voter turnout for voters aged 18-24 and among young Canadian women and these voters helped bring about change.
This year, St. John’s has a pretty diverse group of candidates and voters can mail in their ballots. According to the city of St. John’s website, “the vote-by-mail process [is] an efficient and convenient method allowing electors to vote in the privacy of their own home.”
Mail-in ballots were eligible to be sent starting September 8 and runs up until 8 pm election day, Tuesday, September 26, 2017. According to the City’s Voter’s Guide, “[y]ou are considered eligible if you are a Canadian citizen over the age of 18 and resident of the City by at least August 27, 2017.”
With the deadline fast approaching, it is too late to register online, but you can still vote in the election. If you have not received a mail-in ballot kit or have not registered, you can go to the City of St. John’s Access Centre, 10 New Gower St, up to 5 pm Sept 25, 2017, to register and obtain a vote by mail kit in person. You will need appropriate identification that shows your name, current civic address along with a presented signature. You can also show up on Election Day to visit a satellite drop-off centre to obtain a kit and vote in person.
The important part here is that you vote. People have fought and died for this privilege and it is your democratic right.