By WILL GEORGE
Kamloops Vote 50 Campaign
/In 2011, less than 30 per cent of eligible Kamloops citizens turned out to vote in the municipal election. As the city heads to the polls in 2014, a group of community-minded citizens is aiming to increase that number — all the way up to 50 per cent, or about 34,000 voters.
Since the end of April, our 17-member steering committee, representing a mix of community associations, nonprofits and concerned individuals, has been meeting to develop a plan to get Kamloops engaged and ready for Nov. 15.
So, how do you get another 14,500 voters to the polls?
There are three main reasons people don’t vote: either they do not feel informed, cannot easily access the polling stations or do not think their votes will matter. The Kamloops Vote 50 Campaign is aiming to get people excited about civic politics — and make sure everyone has a ride to their voting place.
Between now and the election, Kamloops Vote 50 is planning a series of exciting events to appeal to people across the community.
This week we are launching the campaign which includes a well developed Vote Ambassador program and our Community Sponsorship Package. Our Vote Ambassadors program challenges individuals in the community to get their friends and family members engaged in voting. A vote ambassador might help a would-be voter figure out what ID to take to the polls, provide a quick half hour of childcare for a busy parent, or organize an election-related event taking place during the campaign.
The Vote 50 Campaign kicks off with two nights of coffee and conversation at Zack’s Coffee’s and Teas, 377 Victoria St. on Sept. 4 and at Red Beard Cafe, 499 Tranquille Rd., Sept. 9.
If you’re interested in becoming a Vote Ambassador, or learning more about our plans for the election season, please drop by. You can meet the Vote 50 steering committee, enter a draw to win cool prizes, and make a pledge to vote on Nov. 15. Plus, our Zack’s Coffee night features a special acoustic set from Kamloops’ own Back Alley Sallies.
Both sessions run 5 to 8 p.m.
For more information on the Vote 50 campaign, check out our website http://www.KamloopsVote50.com, or visit our Kamloops Vote 50 Facebook page.