Regional Rundown: Reassured by high voter turnout in region

As Monday’s election results prove, in certain ridings, including our riding of Kootenay-Columbia, every vote does count.

As Monday’s election results prove, in certain ridings, including our riding of Kootenay-Columbia, every vote does count. It was excellent to see such a high voter turnout and it is a reassuring statement on democracy that people don’t just comment on or share political posts on Facebook-  when election day FINALLY comes… they show up to vote!

Although it is possible for provincial and federal elections to be super close, it is a little less common than local government elections. Especially in small communities, the chances that a candidate only wins by a handful of votes in a local government election is actually much higher and more likely then people realize.

In the case of Invermere, former mayor Mark Shmigelsky was first elected to Invermere council in an extremely tight race which actually required a judicial recount of votes and consideration of ballots which were first considered spoiled.

A few of the other strange facts about B.C. local government elections… Someone who lives out-of-town, say in Vancouver, can register as a non-resident property elector and vote in municipal elections in Invermere. However, someone from Calgary cannot, because the requirement is that a person must be a B.C. resident. Equally strange, technically any B.C. resident can run for office in any community even if they don’t live there, and there is no limit on how many different positions a person can run for at the same time.

There are examples right now in B.C. where one person is part of two municipal councils, or on a municipal council and also elected as the nearby electoral area director for the regional district.

Of course, if someone is going to run for election in a town they don’t live in, they will not have the benefit of casting a ballot for themselves — and that could just be the difference between winning or losing. Congrats to all who took the time to vote!

Gerry Taft is mayor of the District of Invermere and a Regional District of East Kootenay director for the Columbia Valley. He can be reached at

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read