Voting is steady, but not busy, at polling stations in Amherst as voters head to the polls to participate in the 43rd general election.
The polls opened at 8:30 a.m. and will remain open until 8:30 p.m.
Speaking with the Amherst News as they exited the polling station at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, several voters said there wasn’t a single issue guiding them but they felt it is their obligation to cast a ballot.
“We have people who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we have the freedom to vote and anyone who doesn’t isn’t respecting or honouring the sacrifices that people made,” Ray Chisholm said. “I have followed it all along and made my decision based on what I think is best for the country.”
He said transparency is the biggest issue to him.
“If they’re transparent then we know what’s going on and we can make more education decisions,” Chisholm added.
Peter Bell said local issues guided him as he made his decision.
“By voting I get to speak up,” he said. “I always vote, never miss an election.”
Grant and Brenda Clark said voting is one way to enact change in Canada. For Brenda, she said it’s important for her, as a woman, to vote since it’s a right people of her gender have not always enjoyed.
“An election is one of the best ways for women to speak up,” she said.
Braedon Gagnon said items like free dental care and affordable or free post secondary education were issues he thought about as a voter.
“With tuition costs now it’s getting pretty expensive and I’m finding you have to take time off school to work to save enough money to go back to school,” Gagnon said. “You’re typically looking at $20,000 a year with residence and tuition. It’s pretty steep for someone working on minimum wage.”
He said it’s important for young people to vote and urged those who haven’t voted or thinking of not voting to reconsider.
Another woman, who wished not to be identified, said she carefully weighed each party’s platform and what each candidate said during the campaign before deciding who to vote for, while Amherst lawyer Peter Belliveau said he was disappointed by the comments from some of the party leaders and the negativity shown in the campaign.
Candidates in Cumberland-Colchester include Conservative Scott Armstrong, Liberal Lenore Zann, NDP candidate Larry Duchesne, Green Party candidate Jason Blanch, People's Party of Canada candidate Bill Archer, Jody O’Blenis of the Veterans Coalition Party of Canada, Steve Garvey of the National Citizens Alliance of Canada and independent candidate Matthew Rushton.
Bill Casey, who was elected in 2015 as a Liberal, decided not to reoffer for this election.