New Returning Office may boost voter participation

Susan Friend of Elections Canada says she’s hopeful that a new returning office in Fort St. John will improve voter turnout numbers. Earlier this month, the Federal Elections authority opened what’s called an "Additional Assistant Returning Office" in the town. This is the first time that local voters have had a federal returing office in the city. The office, which operates as a subsidiary of the Main Returning Office in Dawson Creek, allows residents to register to vote in person. The office also provides residents with the opportunity to vote in advance if making it to the polls on election day is incovenient. Previous election turnout suggests getting to the polls has been inconvenient for residents of the Prince George – Peace River riding: in 2004’s election, only about 50% of those on the voters’ list came out to vote.