Editor: The following is an open letter to every citizen of Langley City.
As we all know our municipal election is careening towards us with Oct. 20 being only a few short weeks away.
Candidates have decorated our city with their names on every corner, spread their values through leaflets and some, of course, have been making their rounds door-to-door to ensure our dreams for this community become a reality.
With all this effort into our city’s future being put forth by a spectrum of eager candidates, we, the people who call this city home, must put some effort in as well if we wish to see our community move in a positive direction.
With that in mind it became clear to me last night that 16 candidates have entered this race with many of them just barely squeezing their name in before the deadline.
I recognize several names of the people running for council, but I admit there are many names I have never seen before. This surprised me as this is not Langley Township, (covering 315 square kms) but Langley City (10 square kms) making us a much denser, connected community.
What’s even more surprising is that I haven’t personally seen many of these last minute submitters at any council hearings or community meetings, making their intentions for the title of city councillor highly suspect to me.
While speaking with a good friend, I complained that I didn’t know whom to select when I go to the polls this season for I thought I had to choose a set number of candidates to fill the six seats of council.
She calmed me with words that have brought me to composing this letter today that I know need to be shared with anyone walking into a polling station.
“You can just vote for the candidates you know and believe in.”
Your ballot is not spoiled if you do not select the exact number of names to correspond to seats. As an unfortunate example of my ignorance at the last election, I selected the two councillors I wanted, and then randomly picked four others to fill the seats.
I followed the same random selection for two trustees. The trustee I wanted wasn’t elected, but the random one I picked was. Plugging in names may inadvertently vote your preferred candidates out of the race due to your random fill-in votes, allowing another to bypass simply by numbers.
It is an absolute shame if a strong candidate is thrown to the wind due to a random shake up from filling in throw away boxes.
In Langley City, I have exactly four councillors I support, one trustee, and I am still waffling between two mayoral candidates.
Therefore, those six names will receive my endorsement, and no other. I, just like you, am not obligated to check off nine names.
If I enlighten only one new voter with this letter, I will feel vindicated. Please educate yourself prior to the election on who you wish our city’s leaders to be, because your vote counts, and it counts even more when you don’t counterbalance it with random throwaway selections.
With so many issues on the table from our overpopulated schools, various outdated modes of transportation and, of course, our safety walking through our own streets, we all need to hold those involved accountable and not mess up our election the same way our neighbors down south have.