EDITORIAL: #Getoutandvote no matter what

Penticton may have a movement among young voters who will be using a mix of media to engage and discussion municipal election issues.

November is coming.

And resentment amongst voters seems to building. Take the example of a number of young voters who demonstrated at a South Okanagan Events Centre concert on Friday. The group wore T-shirts using Coun. Katie Robinson’s description of Boonstock goers as “headbanging druggies” written across their chests and below that “#voteKatieout.”

While the group is squeezing every ounce of the viral exposure it is getting, the push is actually to inspire people to vote — whatever that reason is and for whoever they want to support. It just might work. The last full Penticton civic election, in 2011, saw a sad 33.5 per cent voter turnout rate. A stat that definitely could be improved upon.

Those sharing the Penticton movement with their social media cohorts are also sharing information on how to register to become a voter. This week a group was created on Facebook, #TimeForChangePenticton. Within 24 hours just over 2,000 people joined.

Working in conjunction with traditional outlets such as newspapers, which make it a point to offer candidates a chance to unveil their platforms and answer poignant questions on community issues, it could get even more people engaged.

Let’s just hope the most important message about going to the polls and voting, as well as doing due diligence to become knowledgeable on the candidates, is not forgotten.

While some voters may be moved to make their mark at the next election for a singular cause, there is plenty to keep in mind that has happened over this past term whether you deem it negative or positive. The social media tools and newspapers offer chances to learn more about issues and to open discussion.

With just about three months before the election, there is plenty of time for voters to get engaged to make their voices and hashtags heard.


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