News / Calgary

Calgary advance voting up 10 per cent over 2010, but total turnout still expected lower

Calgarians are voting in advance polls in larger numbers than ever, but that doesn’t necessarily mean overall turnout will be up when all the ballots are counted, according to a local political science professor.

“It’s definitely true that people have been voting more and more in advance polls,” said Paul Fairie, who teaches a municipal government course at the University of Calgary. “But a lot of that will have to do with the fact that governments have been making it easier to vote in advance.”

Over the first five days of advance voting in this year’s municipal election, a total of 13,882 ballots have been cast, according to the city.

That’s up nearly 10 per cent from the 12,660 ballots case in the first five days of advance voting of the 2010 municipal election, which saw an exceptionally high 53 per cent voter turnout, in total.

In spite of the higher advance turnout so far this year, Fairie said “it would be the shock of the century” if total turnout topped 53 per cent when all is said and done.

“Turnout is really just about how competitive the mayoral race is,” he said. “And we don’t have too competitive of a race.”

Calgary has made it easier to cast advance ballots, said returning officer Barb Clifford, who noted there are four more advance polling locations this year as well as the new “Advance Vote Bus.”

The mobile voting station has only been available for three of the five advance voting days so far and accounts for 896 of the advance ballots cast.

Where to vote in advance:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday are the final two days of advance voting ahead of the general election on Oct. 21.
  • Ballots can be cast at advance polling locations throughout the city or on the vote bus, which will be stationed at Crowfoot Station during Tuesday’s morning commute and Heritage Station during the afternoon commute.
  • On Wednesday, the vote bus will be at the McKnight/Westwinds Station in the morning (6:30-9:30 a.m.) and Westbrook Station in the afternoon (3:30-6:30 p.m.).

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