Dozens of voters were lined up at the Ottawa city hall on Thursday during the first of four advance polling days special in view of the municipal election of October 22. An exercise which, hopefully, will raise the participation rate.
The voting will continue from Friday to Sunday from 10h to 20h at six different locations on the territory of the city, the Place Ben Franklin, the town hall, the recreation Centre François-Dupuis, the community Centre Greenboro, the recreation Complex, Minto and the recreation Complex Richcraft.
The municipal administration wishes that this period of advance voting, a pilot project implemented during the last elections in 2014, to encourage more citizens to exercise their right to vote. However, the participation rate has been declining since 2006, having increased from 53,5% to 40%.
“The goal is to create opportunities and flexbilité for voters, they can go anywhere to vote. In the six places, one of the ballots for the 23 districts. […] For us, it is important that the process be as accessible as possible,” said the manager of legislative Services to the City, Tyler Cox.
One of the first to have exercised his or her right to vote is the outgoing mayor Jim Watson, who is seeking a third term at the head of the capital. He said, smiling to the media that he had bestowed his confidence in the candidate Don Dransfield for the position of councillor in the district (Bay), where he resides.
“I know him since a long time, I think it would be a good job,” he explained.
Mr. Watson added that it was a pity that the participation rate is not higher in the municipal elections, “because it is important as a politician to have a strong mandate”.
Fact is anecdotal, the ballot for the Orleans ward has been printed on a paper size larger than normal because of the impressive list of candidates (17).
The advance poll will take place on Friday, October 12, while the election is Monday, October 22.