Voter turnout slightly up from last Edmonton election

EDMONTON – According to Edmonton Elections, a total of 213,585 Edmontonians cast their ballots this election, for a total voter turnout of 34.5 per cent. Nearly 62 per cent of those votes went to Edmonton’s new mayor, Don Iveson.

“I don’t imagine there’s anybody in town…that thought for one moment Don would get that many votes. I don’t even think Don thought he’d get that many votes,” said political analyst and former Edmonton City Councillor, Jim Taylor.

In 2010 voter turnout in Edmonton was 33.4 per cent, with 199,359 citizens casting ballots.

ELECTION RESULTS: Click here for live Edmonton election results

“It’s a great day for an election,” said Alayne Sinclair, returning officer with Edmonton Elections, Monday afternoon. 

The day after his victory, Mayor-Elect Iveson said he hoped the turnout would have been higher, but he’s encouraged it did increase from the previous election.  Iveson has a plan to improve voter turn in future elections.

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“Some of the working we’re doing with connecting young Edmontonians, even grade six kids who are studying local government in the curriculum now, connecting them with the work at city hall I think is part of a long term strategy to ensure young people are connected to the decision making that happens in our city and will participate in greater numbers in the future.”

Those Edmontonians who did vote in this municipal election say with a new mayor and six council seats up for grabs, it made it that much more important to have their voices heard.

“We’ve had a really, really strong council for a long time and I think people are really concerned, or really aware that we need to make good choices this time around to ensure that what the previous council has brought to Edmonton is going to continue,” said Edmontonian Erick Ambtan.

“The interest level was way up there,” said M.J. Thompson. “Because I want a new mayor and new councillors… and I hope the right one.”

DECISION EDMONTON: Meet Edmonton’s new City Council

“It’s going to be a learning curve for them, because we’ve got not only a new mayor, but we’ve got a lot of new councillors as well. So we don’t know exactly how things will unfold,” said Darlene Konduc, who added it’s a privilege to be able to vote.

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“If you don’t vote… you can’t say anything. You may as well keep your mouth shut.

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