Voter turnout has been steady at the Terrace polling station for the 2018 municipal election.
Chief elections officer Cathy Jackson said as of mid-day today there were roughly 620 ballots cast for Terrace council.
“Things have picked up since this morning,” she said. “It seems quite busy but I think it’s been a little slower than previous years.”
A veteran elections officer, she expects voter turnout to increase closer to the end of the day when polls close at 8 p.m. However she urges voters to cast their ballots earlier to avoid lineups.
Demands on city services, homelessness and LNG’s development were some of the issues on the minds of voters as they cast their ballots in Terrace today.
“The main thing we’re going to have to be prepared for is, when the growth in this area happens, that the services for the city are also growing to compensate for the extra workload,” said Terrace firefighters union president Jeff Minhinnick at the polling station at the Terrace Sportsplex.
Also on people’s minds today was voter turnout.
“From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t seem like people are as engaged this time around,” Minhinnick said, speculating that it could be from the lack of mayoral race or only two new spots open on council.
For many, the chance to decide who the next councillors or school trustees would be was enough to get them to the polls. Others said they felt less informed about the candidates this year and that impacted their vote.
Two residents said they were concerned with safety downtown, and wanted to see more support for small businesses.
Voters also said they wanted to see council work on strategies to help support those struggling with homelessness and addiction in the city.
“They’re people in our community and I think we need to offer more services to support them, that’s important for me,” resident Katy Minhinnick said.
Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc has won her second term by acclamation, leaving this year’s race to eight council candidates.
Vying for the six council seats are incumbents Sean Bujtas, Lynne Christiansen, James Cordeiro and Brian Downie competing against newcomers Jessica McCallum Miller, Martin Holzbauer, Evan Ramsay and David Try.
READ MORE: Who will represent you on city council?
Marlene Araujl said she was glad to see some new faces running for council and wants to see change, namely with the pace at which the city is able to finish existing projects.
“Where are my tax dollars going? Who’s accountable for not just the pool, but things like that,” said Marlene Araujl. “Coming out we have to think beyond Terrace and about what’s best for the province and surrounding areas.”
After they cast their ballots, Terrace residents Mike and Tracey Nagle spoke about why they exercised their right to vote.
“The civic politics is extremely important, it’s the one form of politics or one form of election that truly affects your daily life. From garbage pick-up to property taxes, to everything the city does,” Mike said. “It can be considered to be more important than provincial or federal elections.”
Polls are still open until 8 p.m. in Terrace, Thornhill and regional district.
For a full list of where to vote and what you need to know for election day, click here.