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Voter turnout dips slightly in Montreal’s 2017 municipal election

Click to play video 'Valérie Plante speaks after winning election' Valérie Plante speaks after winning election
WATCH ABOVE: Valérie Plante addresses a crowd of supporters after winning the Montreal mayoral election – Nov 6, 2017

Fewer people turned out to vote in Montreal’s 2017 municipal election compared to 2013.

Pierre Laporte, with Elections Montreal, told Global News Monday about 42.46 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls.

READ MORE: Denis Coderre ‘quitting political life’ after losing Montreal mayoral race to Valérie Plante

It was 43 per cent in 2013.

“It’s too early to say [why voter turnout dipped],” he said.
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“But that’s the final score we have. We did expect more people.”

READ MORE: Valérie Plante elected first female mayor of Montreal

The small slide in voter participation is in spite of various measures taken by Elections Montreal during this campaign.

These included improving the accessibility of voting locations, distributing flyers with voting instructions and a $500,000 advertising blitz on radio, online and ads on public transit.

READ MORE: Montreal elections 2017: Combating voter apathy

More people were registered to vote this election than last, and 91,218 voted in advance polls – representing about eight per cent of the electorate.

More than 11,000 ballots were rejected.

WATCH BELOW: Montreal’s 2017 elections

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Turnout was higher, over 70 per cent, for the last provincial and federal elections.

READ MORE: Montreal elections 2017: Live results across Greater Montreal

Some experts say people don’t think municipal government matters.

“They think the issues are too small for them to take an interest in,” McGill doctoral student Chris Erl, who studies municipal elections, told Global News before the election.

“Sometimes it is garbage collection and sewer pipes and parks, and they think these are issues better dealt with by bureaucrats.”

READ MORE: Your guide to voting in Montreal’s 2017 municipal election

Erl says the reality is municipal governments directly affect people daily, with issues like garbage collection, bike paths and public transit at the forefront.

— With files from Amanda Jelowicki