North Okanagan voter turnout rates remain low

Four of six municipalities show drop in North Okanagan municipal elections compared to 2014

A vast majority of eligible North Okanagan voters didn’t bother to use their democratic right Saturday.

Voter turnout was down from four years ago in four of six municipalities, up slightly in another, while the Village of Lumby went to the polls Saturday after acclaiming mayor and council in 2014.

Average turnout for Vernon, Coldstream, Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Enderby and Lumby was 30 per cent, down from 32 per cent in 2014.

RELATED: Cumming wins Vernon mayor’s chair

RELATED: Garlick wins Coldstream in landslide

Enderby, which had the highest voter turnout four years ago at 39 per cent, dropped to 35 per cent Saturday. A total of 829 votes were cast from 2,383 eligible voters. Enderby was voting for mayor, council and school board trustee.

“It’s fascinating,” said incumbent Mayor Greg McCune, who defeated Herman Halvorson Saturday. “In all of the talking we did to people, we heard ‘I can’t vote, I don’t own property,’ and I don’t understand that. I don’t understand where the gap is. With all of the information out there, with all of the technology, how do some of these people not know some of these things? I don’t know where we can go from here.

“I know we worked really hard. Our goal was to get people out and we actually busted it to get to 35 per cent. I don’t know it will ever get higher.”

RELATED: Armstrong council results in…

RELATED: Fraser wins Spallumcheen mayor’s race

The City of Armstrong, voting only for councillors and school trustee as Mayor Chris Pieper was again acclaimed, had the biggest drop.

In 2014, 30 per cent of Armstrong residents cast a vote. On Saturday, 864 votes were cast from 3,854 eligible voters, for a 22 per cent turnout rate.

“The only thing I can think of is, our population is right at 5,000 or 5,000 and a few and they say we have 3,800 registered voters and I sort of wonder about that,” said Pieper. “Whether it’s 22 per cent or 30 per cent, it’s still disappointing. Isn’t the B.C. average around 30? I think we’re similar to the rest of the province. People are not interested in local politics. I think that’s fair to say.

“The provincial government moved the election a month ahead this year, before they were always in November, to provide better weather, better access to the polls. We had an absolutely perfect day across British Columbia for voting but it still didn’t make any difference to the turnout. I don’t know why. It’s not just Armstrong. It’s across the province.”

RELATED: Village of Lumby council sees two new faces

RELATED: Status quo for Enderby council

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the unofficial voter turnout provincial average from Saturday was 36 per cent.

Spallumcheen, electing mayor, council and school trustee, dropped to 25 per cent turnout from 29 per cent four years ago (994 votes cast out of 4,046 eligible voters).

Vernon, Coldstream and Lumby all had 32 per cent voter turnout.

Lumby had 448 votes cast from 1,388 eligible voters. Coldstream dropped from 32.5 per cent turnout in 2014, with 2,609 voters casting ballots from among 8,037 eligible voters.

Vernon was the only community to see a rise in turnout.

With four people running for mayor, 20 for council and nine for school trustee, 9,755 votes were cast from among 30,602 eligible voters, up from 30 per cent turnout in 2014.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New Lumby Disc Golf Course nears opening

Man behind new outdoor village activity says course will open “in a couple of weeks”

Vernon man arrested after reports of assaults on Kal Lake Rotary Pier

RCMP officers successful in taking man into custody after takedown on railway trestle

Lake Country UBCO grad wins top honours

Teagan MacDougall is the 2020 recipient of the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Prize and $10K

Vernon man arrested after reports of assaults on Kal Lake Rotary Pier

RCMP officers successful in taking man into custody after takedown on railway trestle

Community Champion: no greater gift than giving, Lisa Kurulok says

July 2020 Community Champion volunteers in several organizations throughout North Okanagan

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Kamloops man pleads guilty in vehicle-ramming incident that injured a Mountie

Adam Hibbert was arrested following a collision during a police pursuit on May 26, 2019

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read