Lloyd hoping to get the vote out

By Geoff Lee

August 9, 2016 12:00 AM

The city of Lloydminster is casting a vote for better public engagement and turnout in the upcoming Lloydminster municipal election.
City clerk Doug Rodwell launched the city’s new Your Voice, Your Vote campaign Monday at city hall with support from the Lloydminster Youth Council.
“The voter turnout in the 2012 municipal election was a dismal 11 per cent,” said Rodwell,  who is also the election returning officer.
“This means one in 10 eligible voters exercised their right to vote.”
Rodwell said dwindling voter turnout is a growing concern across the country and wants the Your Voice, Your Vote campaign to help Lloydminster buck that trend.
“This October let’s be recognized as a highly engaged, informed, involved community and a community that votes in record numbers,” he said.
The Your Voice, Your Vote campaign, an interactive program, is designed to support strong voter turnout and inspire a deeper sense of civic pride and responsibility while also providing key information on election processes.
A pledge wall will be taken to various events where residents can sign a pledge card to vote and have their photo taken, or speak on video about why they’re pledging.
Photos and videos taken at events will be shared via social media at facebook.com/Lloydvotes and twitter.com/LloydVotes, using the #LloydVotes hashtag.
Leah Boyer, chair of the youth council, is too young to vote herself, but she said it’s important for youth to get involved in municipal governments as future leaders.
She said local government has the most impact on our daily lives, through services like water, sewer and roads.
“It’s important for youth to be informed on these topics and then take action to express their opinions and ideas,” said Boyer, a Grade 12 student at Holy Rosary High School.
She said if you’re not old enough to vote, get to know the process and the candidates.
Cheryl Ross, who’s running for mayor, was in attendance and said she’s engaging voters through people that she meets on a daily basis.
“Our conversations always end with the municipal election that’s coming forth Oct. 26,” she said.
“Stop voting on how your neighbour votes and stop basing your opinion on what someone has said or what you’ve heard.”
Mayoral candidate Gerald Aalbers told the Source Friday he applauds the city’s initiative.
“It’s great because there’s a lot of voter apathy and a lot of people are asking what’s going to be different after the 26th of October,” said Aalbers.
Mayoral hopefuls will go up against incumbent Mayor Rob Saunders, who previously indicated his plan to run for re-election.
The city will release a list of candidates on Sept. 22, with advance voting Oct.11-23.
Aalbers has a website—votegerald4mayor—using a Hope for the Future slogan and a Facebook page, but he prefers face-to-face conversations.
“I’m trying to engage voters one-on-one so people can speak freely and comfortably in person rather than in the social media setting where people can’t always express their true feelings,” he said.
“Without people getting involved and getting engaged in the process the system breaks down and I think that’s why people need to know they actually have an opportunity.”

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