Record turnout at the polls

If the turnout at advance polls this weekend is any indication, lots of voters are taking an interest in the Canadian Federal election.

Voters lined up outside the Seniors' Drop-in Centre in Penticton last weekend to cast their vote in advance polls.  Processing was slow at polls around the province

Voters lined up outside the Seniors' Drop-in Centre in Penticton last weekend to cast their vote in advance polls. Processing was slow at polls around the province

If the turnout at advance polls this weekend is any indication, lots of voters are taking an interest in the Canadian Federal election.

Elections Canada is reporting that more than 3.6 million voters turned out over the four days of advance polling from Oct. 9 to 12, setting a new elections record.

On Monday, Oct. 12 1.2 million voters turned out besting the individual totals for the previous three days: 850,000 on Friday, 780,000 on Saturday and 767,000 on Sunday.

Turnout at advance polls has been growing since 1993, when the opportunity was extended to all voters, but this year’s count represents a 71 per cent increase over the 2011 federal election, when about 2.1 million people voted in advance polls.

“In previous elections, we have only had three days of advance voting. This is the first time we added a fourth,” said Dorothy Sitek, representing Elections Canada. “In past years, advance polls weren’t open on Sunday, but that changed this year.

“We increased the advance voting opportunity,” said Sitek, adding that besides adding 25 per cent voting time, there were also more sites: B.C. had 602 advance polling sites, out of 3,423 nationwide. In 2011, B.C. only had 544 advance polls out of 3,258 total.

Sitek said that as the agency charged with administering the election, Elections Canada couldn’t comment on the voter turnout.

“We do say it is great to see electors taking advantage of the opportunity to vote, but we can’t say anything beyond that,” said Sitek.

What the high turnout at advance polls means in terms of the overall election will only be known when the polls close at 7 p.m. on election day, Oct. 19. The only certainty is that with five first-timers running, South Okanagan West Kootenay will have a newly minted MP representing the riding in Ottawa.

Made up of large parts of the former Southern Interior and Okanagan-Coquihalla ridings, the new South Okanagan West Kootenay has a complex voting history.

The riding, stretching from the Similkameen to the Central Kootenays, was a NDP stronghold under Alex Atamanenko since 2006, but the area leaned to conservative under Jim Gouk since 1993, first for the Reform Party, then the Conservative Alliance.

In the northern part of the riding, which includes Penticton, Okanagan-Coquihalla has been a conservative stronghold, most recently under Dan Albas, and before him, Stockwell Day. Jim Hart, who stepped down in 2000 to make room for Day to run, held the area for the Reform Party since 1993, when he took it from the NDP’s Jack Whittaker.


Just Posted

New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Scales of Justice
Acquittal in Okanagan crash that killed vacationing dentist

Daerio Romeo, 29, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Penticton to get outdoor ice rink this winter

It’s hoped the rink will be ready to host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

The fate of Skaha Marina and its operations will be decided Saturday, June 19 on general election day. (File photo)
Penticton city hosted last forum before voters decide on fate of Skaha Marina

Residents share concerns about length of operations agreement, parking and control of park

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read