At the current count, 3650 votes have been cast in the Copper Coast Council region, representing just 32.59 per cent of eligible voters. For Yorke Peninsula Council, 3400 votes have been received. Almost 45 per cent of Gum Flat ward voters have submitted their ballot papers compared with about 40 per cent in Innes/Pentonvale and 33 per cent in Kalkabury. About 40 per cent of Barunga West Council voters have exercised their democratic right with 800 ballot papers returned.
These figures show a strong interest in the local government elections compared with most of the state, indicating locals are switched on and care about what happens in their councils. But we can still do better.
Who hasn’t grumbled about a pothole, or a lack of footpaths, or a local project they feel could have been done differently? Well, if you don’t vote you shouldn’t complain. You had your chance to make a difference.
And while that difference can seem small when you are one person among thousands of voters, each vote in a council election represents a far greater slice of the pie than in state and federal elections.
Likewise, the actions of councils have the most frequent and direct impacts on our lives. We see council workers all the time. We are afforded the chance to comment about councils’ proposed projects as well as their budgets and future plans, unlike with state and federal governments, generally speaking.
Local councils have interesting battles for their elected member vacancies, including the mayoral positions. Our paper has done its utmost to remain unbiased, offering all candidates the same opportunities to have their messages heard.
But if you haven’t voted yet, you can do more research. Speak to people you trust, people who you feel are in the know. Read the spiels provided with your ballot papers. Make an informed choice, and make your vote count.