File photo

File photo

EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

If past elections are any indication, some seats in the upcoming British Columbia provincial election on Oct. 24 could be decided by narrow margins.

In 1996, Liberal candidate Bill Barisoff defeated the New Democratic Party candidate by just 27 votes to win the riding of Okanagan Boundary.

Voter turnout in that riding in 1996 was 75.05 per cent.

This means that if a few more voters had cast their ballots, the outcome could have been different. In 2005, Liberal candidate Lorne Mayencourt won the riding of Vancouver-Burrard in a close finish, defeating New Democratic Party candidate Tim Stevenson by only 11 votes.

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Only 51.95 per cent of voters in the riding cast their ballots that year.

If a few more voters had participated, the seat may have had a different outcome.

At the municipal level, the 2018 mayoral election in Peachland was even closer.

Incumbent Cindy Fortin and challenger Harry Gough each received the same number of votes.

After a recount, the winner was finally decided by a draw. Just one more voter could have affected the outcome. Peachland’s voter turnout in the 2018 municipal election was just 52 per cent.

Elsewhere in Canada, other elections at the federal, provincial and municipal levels have been decided by a handful of votes.

Some candidates have won by a single vote.

At other times, election races were decided when the election officer for a riding had to cast the deciding vote because of a tie.

When elections can be this close, every vote matters.

But not every eligible voter will cast a ballot.

In the last provincial election, voter turnout was 61.2 per cent.

Roughly two out of five eligible voters didn’t participate in the election process.

If voter participation were to increase even slightly, the outcome of the election could change. What happens in this provincial election will affect the direction our province will take in the coming years.

The decision made by our voters will affect what happens next.

Your vote could be the deciding factor in this election. Your vote matters.

— Black Press

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