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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: October civic election – consider plumping the vote

You can vote for as few as one or as many as six councillors. Your ballot is valid and will count regardless of the number of councillors you vote for.
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Civic elections will be held across Alberta on October 18, and the time has come to decide how you will vote for mayor and council. Perhaps you have a clear vision of how you would like to see Cochrane in the future. So, what can you do to ensure the maximum weight for your vote? Well, the concept of plumping the vote may help.

First it is important to consider the system used for municipal elections in Alberta, where voter turnout is traditionally in the 50 per cent range. For smaller communities, the system in Alberta is known as the ‘at-large’ electoral process, in which there are no ridings. Other than casting a single vote for mayor, there is a pool of candidates for council from that the voter can choose up to a specified maximum number of councillors for that municipality.

I was talking with a friend the other day about the upcoming election. Out of the 19 council candidates, he was very familiar and impressed with three. He incorrectly thought that he needed to vote for six councillors, so those would likely be his choices.

I pointed out that there is no obligation to vote for all six councillor positions. You can vote for as few as one or as many as six councillors. Your ballot is valid and will count regardless of the number of councillors you vote for.

This is where the concept of plumping the vote comes in. The idea is to focus the vote on those candidates who impress you as potentially good councillors and not feel obligated to also vote for those you know little about and (or) perceive as less desirable. In this way, the effect of your voting is not diluted by adding to the total votes of less attractive candidates.

Bill Remphrey