Election signs all over Lethbridge are a constant reminder of the upcoming municipal election. The big day is now less than a week away. On Oct. 16, voters decide what will come of the hard work candidates have put into their campaigns.
Outgoing councillor Bridget Mearns knows very well what those running are feeling at crunch time.
“This is absolutely the final push. You’ve (the candidates) talked to hundreds of people. You have to remind yourself this is the final push, keep at it. This is what you’re working for.”
While candidates have likely been pounding the pavement for weeks, Mearns believes this final stretch can be used to solidify votes.
“It’s really important to make sure that your base shows up and votes,” she said. “They may think it’s an easy ride for you, that it’s a no-brainer that you’ll get re-elected and that’s not necessarily the case.”
Some have already cast their advance ballots, but the vast majority have yet to finalize a decision.
According to former councillor Faron Ellis, the more a candidate is seen at this stage, the better.
“You want to be visible while people are going to vote,” Ellis said. “If there are more meet and greets — most of the forums are done with — but if there are further opportunities to meet people, get out there and meet them and shake hands. Go where there are people.”
Ellis sat on council from 2010 to 2013 and also ran for mayor. He believes public visibility is important, but also preaches caution in putting out a message on social media.
“Probably a lot more risk there,” Ellis said. “Anything that is going to go viral is typically going to go viral because of a negative reason rather than a positive reason this late in the campaign.”
While a lot of time and work have been put in, Mearns believes no candidate should rest easy.
“No one should ever go into an election feeling they’ve got it wrapped up.”
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