Making voting more convenient in Simcoe County
Voter turnout for a municipal election is historically low.
In the 2014 municipal election, a mere 31.75 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in Barrie.
This year many municipalities in our region are aiming to make voting more convenient.
The city of Barrie is rolling out a new voting bus, in the hopes of building on the low voter turnout from years past.
“We will have two touch screen tabulators where people can cast their ballot,” explains city of Barrie clerk, Wendy Cook.
“We hope to encourage as many people as possible, and we hope by reaching out to the electors and by providing access to the bus it will attract more people to vote in this election,” said Cook.
Between October 12 and October 17, the voting bus will run at scheduled times throughout the city, making stops at grocery stores, malls, and rec centres. It will spend three hours at each location and allow two people to vote at a time with a privacy wall as a separator.
In Oro-Medonte the township hopes to improve on the 23 percent turnout from 2014 by allowing voters to cast their ballots online and by phone for the first time.
“That way they can vote anywhere, anytime, on any device,” said Oro-Medonte clerk Karen Way.
Wasaga Beach’s voter turnout increased by 18 percent in the last municipal election when it introduced the online and telephone voting options.
The town of Collingwood will also introduce online and phone voting as the only way to submit ballots this year. Collingwood had the highest voter turnout in the last two municipal elections with more than 50 percent, that’s eight points higher than the provincial average. In those elections, the town used a mail-in voting system.
Keep in mind if you choose to cast your ballot on the vote bus in Barrie, you will be required to bring photo ID and your voter card.
Click here to check the voting bus schedule in Barrie.