School board voter participation dips

By Robert Frank

Proportionately fewer eligible voters bothered to cast their ballots in this year’s Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board (SWLSB) election than last time that they were called to the polls, seven years ago.

In 2007, one in six voters exercised their democratic franchise, whereas this year only one in seven eligible voters bothered to cast a ballot.

“There was huge disorganization at the polls, where we were projecting a 20-25 per cent turnout,” newly elected SWLSB chair Jennifer Maccarone complained. “Easily 5 per cent of voters who came out were turned away. Carloads of people showed up and were turned away in Chomedey.”

“For some unknown reason, ten people came in with only one of their two parents on the voters list, even though both kids were registered on the school board,” she told The Suburban. “In general, that affected the numbers for voter turn out and that’s huge. It’s not because we didn’t do our job in getting voters out there.”

“I was shocked that we appear to have less voter turnout this year than we had in 2007,” she concluded, praising defeated candidate for chair Steve Bletas and all his Students First ticket candidates. “Kudos to our opponents who, like us, worked very hard to get the vote out, We hope that this won’t have an impact when we have discussions with the Education Minister, because he’s looking very closely at voter turnout.”
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