October 19, 2016 7:36 pm
Updated: October 19, 2016 8:24 pm

Elections Regina using social media to generate voter interest

WATCH ABOVE: There's only one week left to go until election day. Advance polls are now open including the drive-through voting station. The city is also turning to social media to help boost interest. But as Christa Dao explains, is it going to work?

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With the municipal election just a week away, some decided voters are wasting no time to cast their ballot, taking advantage of five advance polling stations around the city.

In addition, voters are also able to take advantage of the drive-thru poll on McIntyre Street. According to Elections Regina, it’s simply another option for voters.

Full Coverage: Regina Votes 2016

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“It’s just one more way that we try to make voting easy convenient and very time saving for people,” Chief Returning Officer Jim Nicol said.

The city is also hoping to encourage residents to go to the polls using social media.. Users are encouraged to snap a selfie outside the polls, using the Elections Regina “I Voted” filter.

“Social media is so prevalent. We have a large following on Facebook and Twitter for the city’s accounts… I’m not stereotyping here, but younger people tend to follow that so it’s a way for people to get excited [and] to be aware of it,” Nicol said.

According to Nicol, it’s to counter the notion that people don’t have any information about the election.

“[On Twitter], people are using it and again, we have a large following,” he said.

“We’re asking people to tell their friends, tell their family. Let people know what’s going on.”

“There’s lots of ways that we’re trying to generate interest… Let’s see what we can do to help people talk about it more.”

According to University of Regina political science professor Jim Farney, social media can help generate interest. However, he said it is a tough sell to get voters engaged in civic elections.

“We don’t seem to have a close race for mayor, it’s been an election where there’s no huge issues,” Farney said.

“There’s actually relatively few levers that [Elections Regina] can pull in a neutral way to make people vote, or to encourage them to vote. That’s kind of the job of the politicians.”

Missing Voter Information Cards

A Canada Post blunder is to blame for missing voter information cards.

According to Elections Regina, some residents in Ward 5 have not received their information cards. There’s no concrete numbers on how many people are affected, but the city estimates it’s in the hundreds.

A voter information card is not a requirement to vote.

“Unfortunately we’ve learned that Canada Post returned a number of those and it appears that they were largely in Ward 5, so we apologize for that,” Nichol said.

“I wish I could change that back, but we are working with Canada Post to understand why some of those came back.”

Nicol is encouraging anyone with any questions to contact Elections Regina at 306-751-4479 or head to their Elections Regina website.

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