New numbers show 29% increase in advance voting over 2015: Elections Canada

Advance polls saw an increase in voter turnout over the weekend, a trend that has carried over from previous federal elections. Chris Young / Canadian Press

New numbers released by Elections Canada on Tuesday say voter turnout during the four-day advance polling period was up 29 per cent over numbers recorded ahead of the federal election in 2015.

According to Elections Canada, preliminary figures show 4.7 million electors turned out to vote between Oct. 11 and Oct. 14.

Numbers released on Monday say 1.6 million of those voters cast their ballots during the first two days.

READ MORE: Numbers show 25% increase in advance voting over 2015 — Elections Canada

Over the four-day early voting period during the previous election, a total of 3.65 million Canadians voted, representing 20.8 per cent of all votes cast.

“More and more, Canadians are taking advantage of early voting opportunities to cast their ballots,” said chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault in a statement. “Having extended voting hours at advanced polls gave Canadians more flexibility to use this option.”

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For the first time this election, advance polls were open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. across the country.

Elections Canada is expected to release a breakdown of who voted at the advance polls by province, territory and district on Wednesday.

Click to play video: 'Advance polls see 25% spike over 2015' Advance polls see 25% spike over 2015
Advance polls see 25% spike over 2015 – Oct 15, 2019

In an interview with Global News on Monday, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs Darrell Bricker said advance polling numbers have been “going up steadily” for some time.

“In 2006, about 10 per cent of us voted early. In 2015, it was up to 20 per cent of us voting early,” he said. “It’s just been a general trend. I don’t know that it’s necessarily specifically related to this campaign.”

Bricker said, however, that parties have been getting “much better at getting out their vote early” and that the numbers may be, in part, a reflection of that.

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He added that it is too early to know whether the increase is indicative of an increasing level of interest in the election.

“It could be,” he said. “But we won’t know until after the election.”

READ MORE: Lower early voting numbers expected in Manitoba: Elections Canada

Now that the advance polling period has ended, Canadians will have to wait until election day — Monday, Oct. 21 — to cast their ballot.

In order to vote, individuals must prove their identity and address.

According to Perrault, Elections Canada is “paying special attention” to electors in Manitoba who have been affected by a devastating snowstorm.

“We will add resources at the local level and be prepared to adjust our services for Monday, Oct. 21, as required,” Perrault said. “Our top priority is to ensure that electors in Manitoba are able to cast their ballot.”

For more information on when, where and how to vote, Global News has created this handy voter’s guide.

TWEET COUNTER (last 30 days)

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