SASKATOON – Preliminary numbers from Elections Saskatchewan reveal a total of 426,706 ballots were counted Monday night. In the 2011 provincial election, 403,873 ballots were cast.
There were 150,000 more people registered to vote this time around and almost 23,000 more people turned up at the polls.
The official turnout, though, was around 57 per cent, a historic low for the province.
Michael Boda, Saskatchewan’s chief electoral officer, points out since more people were registered to vote, the calculations can’t be compared to 2011.
“Voter turnout went down to 57 per cent from 67 per cent but we had an increase in the number of voters who participated,” he said.
“Understanding voter turnout can be complex. Key to understanding turnout is that in this election we registered 150,000 more eligible voters than we did in 2011. Simply put, the denominator in the calculation of voter turnout is significantly larger because we have gotten much better at registering voters,” he said in a release.
“Don’t be misled by the percentages if you’re thinking about voter turnout. Focus on the actual numbers,” said University of Saskatchewan political studies professor Joe Garcea.
However, given the province had an additional 150,000 voters registered, Garcea says the potential for more voters could have been maximized.
“It’s surprising that the increase in the number of people coming out only went up by 25,000. Makes one wonder why it couldn’t have gone up 50,000 or 75,000,” he said.
Official election results including any polls missed and absentee numbers will be released April 16.