Voting took place at the Sportsplex in Terrace and, for the first time, at Cassie Hall Elementary on the southside. (Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Terrace Standard)

Voting took place at the Sportsplex in Terrace and, for the first time, at Cassie Hall Elementary on the southside. (Michael Bramadat-Willcock/Terrace Standard)

Terrace voter turnout improves over last municipal election

Second voting location and youth ballot contributing factors

City officials say they’re encouraged by the increase in voter turnout for this month’s municipal election for six council seats compared to 2018.

In an effort to increase voter turnout this year, the city added a second voting location on the Southside at Cassie Hall Elementary hoping that voters in that area would find it more convenient to be able to vote closer to home.

This was in addition to a main polling station in the arena banquet room. And a Kidvote containing a specific question for young people under 18 was used as a way to encourage young people to come to the polls and bring their parents along with them — who would also then have the opportunity to vote.

Based on preliminary voting information, 2,059 people out of an estimated eligible voting population of 8,844 went to the polls for a 23.28 percentage turnout, higher than the 17.8 per cent of 2018.

There were 259 ballots cast at Cassie Hall and 214 Kidvotes registered.

While it might be impossible to credit this years increased turnout entirely to those two initiatives, both could be in place once again when the next municipal elections are held in 2026.

“We did see an increase in voter turnout, which is always great news! But to chalk that up to specifically to the Kidvote, or the second location as the primary reasons wouldn’t be the whole picture,” said Tyler Clarke who handles communications for the City of Terrace.

“We had some great responses from families who knew it was coming, others were surprised about it and were happy with the voting process introduction,” Clarke said of the Kidvote.

“This is definitely something we hope to continue to do moving forward, but can’t confirm that it will take place during the next election, as this would be a council decision when the time comes. But overall, we’re very pleased with the reception that this received.

Clarke also felt the number of candidates this time — 15 for the six council positions — may have also spurred interest in voting.

The Kidvote cost the city $274.39 for ballots while staff members paid for other items such as stickers, pencils and suckers themselves.

“This project is something they were very passionate about. So, a big thank you to them for that,” Clarke said.

The Kidvote question asked youth what they liked about Terrace the best.

The aquatic centre ranked first at 86 votes followed by the pump track at 45 votes. The splash park came third at 31 votes with neighbourhood playgrounds close behind at 29 votes. Placing last was Ferry Island at 23 votes.

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BC municipal electionMunicipal Governmentmunicipal politics

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