EDITORIAL: Well done, voters – this election was a step in the right direction

Whether you’re pleased or not with your local civic election results, you have to give credit to residents for turning out to vote in the numbers they did.

It was a step in the right direction but voter turnout still could have been much better.

Nevertheless, who had anticipated such long snaking lineups at polling stations?

In Surrey, just over 100,000 people voted in Saturday’s election, up from 70,253 in 2011.

Of 287,940 eligible voters, 101,558 cast a ballot – a 35.3 per cent voter turnout.

That’s up from both 2008 and 2011 elections, which saw a 24.1 per cent and 25 per cent turnout respectively, but is close to the 2005 civic election where Dianne Watts defeated then-mayor Doug McCallum.

In that race, 35.1 per cent of the electorate voted.

In Saturday’s election, White Rock also saw an increase in residents voting, at 34 per cent turnout compared to 29.88 per cent in 2011.

Delta, unlike Surrey and White Rock, saw fewer voters – 32.11 per cent turnout this year compared to 33.50 per cent in 2011 – but that decrease doesn’t signify much, seeing as nobody challenged incumbent Lois Jackson for the mayor’s chair.

While Jackson’s local counterparts, Surrey First’s Linda Hepner and incumbent White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin pretty much smote their rivals at the polls, both would do well to remember that a good number of people voted for someone else. Hepner won a commanding 50,782 votes, earning her and Surrey First a strong mandate, but 53,832 people wanted someone else in the big chair. She and Surrey First’s city councillors-elect must reach out to them.

Congratulations are in order for Hepner, Baldwin, Jackson and the councillors and school trustees who were elected on Saturday.

A thank-you is also in order for those candidates who weren’t elected but gave it their best.