RELEASE — Kingston’s Election Hub, OpenKingston.ca, has launched again for the 2018 municipal election.
This non-partisan, volunteer-run website enhances voter decision-making and increases election turnout by linking citizens to individual candidate pages; surveying all candidates and creating engaging interactive infographics on key election issues; providing a calendar of election events, a map leading to district pages, and further election resources for Kingston voters, including “how to vote instructions” and links to Kingston area media covering the election.
Open Kingston had over 8,000 unique visitors during the 2014 election and aims to reach 20,000 this fall using social media promotions and growing awareness in the Kingston community. That would mean that a majority of people across the City likely to vote in the election will have consulted openkingston.ca (even if voter turnout climbs from the abysmal 39.5% in Kingston’s 2014 election, as we hope it will!) Winnipegelection.ca, an inspiration for our site, had over 50,000 unique visitors leading up to the 2014 Winnipeg Municipal election and is set to outstrip that total this fall, making for a majority of voters using digital democracy tools in both our cities.
“Most visitors will use openkingston.ca to do their research on candidates during the two weeks before the election, and on voting day itself.” said Andrew McCann, one of the volunteer organizers of openkingston.ca. “We will be rolling out more features as the election approaches, such as individual School Board Trustee Candidate pages, and we look forward to all candidates completing the survey so that voters can learn about their positions on key issues – Kingstonians want to know!”
The most dynamic aspect of openkingston.ca is the interactive infographics for each of seven key election issue questions. A survey was sent out to all candidates at the beginning of September. Their yes-no-maybe and longer answers are added automatically to the infographics and candidate pages as they respond. Over half of candidates have answered so far, and we hope the others will do so very soon – Kingstonians are asking us when they will.Openkingston.ca does not edit, judge or rank candidate answers in any way.