Vaughan voters turn up at York (but they don’t beat the door down)

19 Oct

Day two of advanced voting for the Vaughan municipal election at York University is nearly at a close.

And the buzzword among those who took advantage of the polls: change.

Ward 2 resident Heidi Caufin said bringing a hospital and a subway station to Vaughan are two big issues for her.

“I’d like to see some change in our community,” she said, adding one of her local council candidates impressed her. “He’s got good ideas, he’s been a Vaughan citizen his whole life and he knows what Vaughan needs.

“He’s a young man with modern ideas, and I believe he can bring change,” she added.

Allan Evely, an employee at the campus, said he’s fed up with paying high taxes.

“I pay crazy taxes, and what services do I get?” he said. “I get garbage removal every two weeks, recycling once a week, I’m on a secondary road so I don’t get plowed any faster than anybody else, yet I pay through the nose.

“I’m being penalized for working hard and saving my money and wanting a nice house. I’m being penalized for that, and that’s a huge issue for me,” Evely added.

Some people who voted at York today said they did so because they work with elections so had to vote today. Others were York students whose parents told them they had to vote. And others still were just eager Vaughanians brave enough to vie for an impossible-to-find parking space to get their vote out.

Change in elected representation wasn’t the only change at the poll: The poll itself was a first. It’s the first time Vaughan has set up a station outside the city.

City clerk Jeffrey A. Abrams is overseeing the polling station and said he thinks this pilot project of ‘voting anywhere’, including outside of your municipal jurisdiction, will be far more common the next time around.

“It’s not been unsuccessful, but so far it’s also not been dramatic,” he said. “I’ve said all along the pay off would be in 2014, not in 2010 … But it’s also the case that the turnout is generated by the candidates, my job is to make sure the opportunity (to vote) is there.”

Abrams said so far about 2.5 percent of eligible voters have come out to advance polls in Vaughan in total. Considering there are 2,500 York students eligible, plus faculty and staff, the approximately 175 who had come by 12:30 p.m. today is well above that mark.

— Shawn Star, Vaughan Today

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