With advanced polling closed and the election just days away, one candidate is pushing citizens to get out and rock the vote.
Mayoral candidate Andrew Jakubeit put on a Rock the Vote event at the Barking Parrot on Nov. 6, not to promote his campaign, but to encourage citizens to vote — regardless of the candidate.
“We were talking about how there’s below 30 per cent voter turnout, so why don’t we do a blitz on just get out and vote. Not get out and vote for Andrew Jakubeit, just get out and vote,” Jakubeit said.
The initial concept started out as a fundraiser for Jakubeit’s campaign, but the event eventually turned into an unbiased attempt to encourage anyone and everyone to vote.
“It’s an opportunity to take off the political hat, so to speak,” Jakubeit said.
He said the event was geared towards the youth vote, but the message is the same for every citizen, get out and vote.
“That’s part of the problem with politics is voter apathy. You have the vocal minority who don’t like things and one or two people who are willing to put their voices out there. The rest just don’t care or don’t want to get engaged,” said Jakubeit. “I think we need to change that culture. There’s no magic fix for that.”
Rock the Vote was also a chance for some local talent to hit the stage during a time of year where shows and events generally slow down in Penticton.
They may not be old enough to vote, but the Summerland-based band Silent Alarm showed they were old enough to rock. Daniel Raitt, Silent Alarm’s 17-year-old vocalist and lead guitar player, was excited to play the event at a venue he and his bandmates have been eyeing for some time.
“It was lots of fun,” Raitt said. “It’s one of the things on our tick list. We did Action Fest, Peachfest and now the Barking Parrot, which is like the best venue in Penticton.”
He can’t hit the polls on Nov. 15, but Raitt would still like to see fiscal responsibility from whomever is elected.
“I’d like to see them not waste any money,” Raitt said.
Local rock trio Cosmic Brew also hit the stage to close out the night. Vocalist and lead guitarist of Cosmic Brew, Mason Burns, feels getting out the youth vote is crucial to changing the status quo.
“It’s important for everyone to vote. Especially the 18 and 19 year olds, they don’t care about voting. So it’s good to try and get them out,” Burns said. “We have the power to choose. If you want to complain about how things are run then you can change it.”
Bassist Kris Marsel added that there is more to it than just going and voting and that an uninformed vote is worse than not voting.
“Know what you’re voting on. Definitely do your research. Don’t just vote because someone told you to,” Marsel said.