With change in legislation, record advance voting turnout in 2016 Saskatchewan election

REGINA, April 3, 2016 /CNW/ - 110,716 ballots were cast in five days of advance voting in the provincial general election, an increase of 66 per cent over 2011.

Advance voting on Tuesday (Day 1) marked a 53 per cent increase over the same day in 2011.  Wednesday (Day 2) saw a 57 per cent increase, Thursday (Day 3) an increase of 76 per cent, Friday (Day 4) an increase of 93 per cent, and Saturday (Day 5) an increase of 62 per cent.

The final turnout numbers for advance voting the past two general elections are:

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5




2011 SK GE







2016 SK GE








"Although turnout levels for advance voting are dependent on a number of variables, we expected and prepared for an increase," says Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan. "With recent changes to legislation, this has been Saskatchewan's first general election in which advance voting has been available to all eligible voters solely for their convenience. A reason, such as being away from home on election day, is no longer required."

"The increase in advance voting turnout is unprecedented for provincial elections. During the recent 2015 Federal election, advance voting increased by 48 percent over the 2011 Federal electoral event. Clearly voting in advance of election day is an option that many Canadian voters are embracing."

"Voters initially experienced some lineups during peak periods, primarily in the urban constituencies. Part of our planning involved having backup teams trained with additional ballot boxes ready to be deployed as needed, and we did exactly that at 24 advance voting locations on Tuesday. This planning and flexibility allowed us to meet the increased demand over all five days."

Roughly 1,000 election workers helped deliver advance voting across the province this week. This includes workers in the 173 advance voting locations, and the staff in 61 constituency returning offices who supported the entire advance voting process. On election day, more than 10,000 workers will support the voting process.

"I want to personally thank all advance voting election workers who performed their duties so admirably and with a focus on service and the integrity of the election system. These aren't professional election employees who do this job every day. They are your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors who serve for a very short period of time, once every four years, to serve democracy as a short-term election worker," says Dr. Boda. "I applaud the commitment they have shown to their communities."

The ballots from advance voting will be counted by election officials starting at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 4 along with all regular polls on election day. They will be reported in the preliminary voting results on the Elections Saskatchewan website at results.elections.sk.ca.

Elections Saskatchewan is the province's independent, impartial, professional election management body. Given a mandate from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, it organizes, manages and oversees provincial electoral events, including the April 4, 2016 general election. Information for voters, workers, media, candidates and parties at www.elections.sk.ca.

SOURCE Elections Saskatchewan

Image with caption: "Elections Saskatchewan (CNW Group/Elections Saskatchewan) (CNW Group/Elections Saskatchewan)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160403_C8992_PHOTO_EN_656348.jpg

For further information: Tim Kydd, Senior Director, Outreach & Policy, Elections Saskatchewan, 306.537.9211, Tim.kydd@elections.sk.ca


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