Lessons in voter turnout from London, Ontario

Here’s an idea for improving voter turnout, courtesy of London, Ontario’s 2006 municipal election.

Cast your vote at local malls, The London Free Press

Voter turnout has been abysmally low in municipal elections for years. It’s a problem across the country, and there have been many initiatives in recent years to try to get more people, especially young people, to the polls. In the 2006 municipal election, London City Hall tried an idea to make the polls more accessible to people.

By opening advance polls in shopping malls, voters could easily cast a ballot while doing their shopping, rather than making time to travel to designated polling locations on election day. Voters from any ward could cast a ballot at any of the advance polls. The initiative is credited with improving voter turnout from 35% to 42% that year, and is back for 2010.

Cities like Toronto should be paying attention to this.

About Greg Burrell

Greg is an accountant, cyclist and political observer living in Toronto, Canada with too many cats.
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