Municipal elections held too soon, some candidates say
Municipal elections will be held across the province on Sept. 24, but some candidates in St. John's say it's too soon.
Mayoral candidate and councillor Sheilagh O'Leary said the elections should be later in the fall when the hustle and bustle of returning to work and school is over.
Some candidates have been getting ready for months but they say they're surprised by what they're hearing when they go door-to-door.
"A lot of people really don't know about the municipal election. They know one is probably coming but many people don't even know it's happening," O'Leary said.
In the last municipal election only half of the city's eligible voters took part.
Sheilagh O'Leary said that number should be higher.
"I just really feel strongly that we would have a lot more uptake if it was a little later in the season ... people would be paying attention," O'Leary said.
If you're a candidate running for the first time, there aren't many ways to reach voters. Most hope their signs will jump out at voters, or they go door-to-door.
Ward 2 candidate Jonathan Galgay began campaigning in February, and has knocked on more than 5800 doors already.
He agrees people aren't paying attention to municipal politics right now.
"Families, especially those with young children and those just returning from holidays, they are focused on their families in September," Galgay said.
Municipal elections used to be held in November, but that changed after candidates argued campaigning in miserable weather was difficult.
They also feared it dampened voter enthusiasm.
Galgay and O'Leary both said it's important to get new people involved in city politics but they say the earlier election gives people who are already elected an advantage.
St. John's mail-in ballots will be landing at homes on Sept. 9.
With files from Mark Quinn