By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND – Welland voter turnout hit a new low in yesterday’s municipal election campaign.
A study of turnouts in the past six campaigns shows a downward spiral over those six municipal elections, a record that’s not to be proud of.
It was thought by some that heightened interest in municipal politics, particularly at the regional government level, would have had marked impact on voters, sending more of them to the polls in this campaign. This isn’t scientific by any means, but several coffee klatch attendees reported voters became “fired up” about local politics during this campaign. Alas, it didn’t turn out that way come election day. So much for being “fired up”!
So, where are people on election day, why aren’t they voting? Difficult to understand. I wish I had the answers.
Here are stats from the past six election campaigns in Welland:
(% of eligible voters who cast a ballot):
2006 42.4 %
2014 35.8 %
(Note: Source – 2000 – 2014 results: Municipality websites. Table compiled by Niagara Connects, Living in Niagara–2017 report.)
(Note: Source – 2018 results: City of Welland election returns compilation, City of Welland website.)