West Kelowna mayoral candidate Stephen Johnston (left) wants to see the voter turnout in next month's municipal election surpass 40 per cent.

ELECTION 2014: West Kelowna mayoral candidate wants to increase voter turnout

DISTRICT OF WEST KELOWNA: Stephen Johnston wants to see voter turnout exceed 40 per cent for the upcoming municipal election.

As voter turnouts to municipal elections are notoriously low, West Kelowna mayoral candidate Stephen Johnston wants to reverse that trend this year in his community.

Johnston is committed to seeing a 40 per cent turnout at the polls for the Nov. 15 municipal election.

“In 2011, 74 per cent of eligible voters in West Kelowna did not cast a ballot,” Johnston said.

“Whether they’re voting for me or or another candidate, I want to see people vote and connect with the community they know and love.”

Johnston is engaging voter apathy through education and social media.

“An election period is an excellent time to initiate public forums and debates on local issues.”

However, Johnston notes that elections can be intimidating and sometimes the importance of voting is misunderstood.

“Municipal elections typically have the smallest voter turnout, yet arguably, local politics directly affect our day to day life more than any other level of government.

“We have to re-educate people about the importance of the democratic process.”