Donnamae and Lynn Wilson take their voting privileges seriously.
The North Saanich couple have, for as long as they have been eligible to do so, cast a ballot in local, provincial and municipal elections. And despite the fact they plan to be far from home during this fall’s municipal election day, the Wilsons have already made arrangements to vote from afar.
“We have been around (for the election) most years,” said Lynn, “and I think this is the first time we’ve applied to vote this way.”
The Wilsons are going to vote by mail-in ballot. The ability to vote in this way has been around for a long time and finding out how to do it is as simple as checking with your local municipality. The Wilsons did just that and went to North Saanich municipal hall.
“The staff at the office were extremely helpful,” said Donnamae. “We simply had to prove we were residents and on the voter’s list.”
The process does involve filling out a request form but the Wilsons said it was straightforward. They expect to see their ballots in the mail while they are in Australia after October 27 — when the District’s chief electoral officer expects to begin mailing them out to people who will not be in the municipality during any of the advance voting opportunities or on general election day, November 15.
The Wilsons admit they have been involved in local politics, taking in the odd council meeting and reading about the goings-on in the Peninsula News Review. They feel it’s a resident’s responsibility to participate in the democratic process — to learn about the issues and to make an informed decision on election day.
“North Saanich is in an important time in its political history,” Lynn said. “Votes will count in this election.”
He added it’s important for resident to make their views known in the election process — and vital, then, to cast a ballot.
“People do need to try to stay aware of the issues,” Donnamae added. “Especially since there’s a four-year term ahead.”
Whatever the reason, the Wilsons encourage as many people as possible to get out and vote. It’s pretty easy when people are close to home, they say, and a little more difficult when you’re out of town. That said, they agree it’s important to make an effort to participate in the democratic process.