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Elections Canada recalculates, says voter turnout last fall higher than 2015

Kyle Mack | posted Friday, Aug 7th, 2020

Elections Canada says voter turnout in last fall’s federal election was actually slightly higher than the 2015 election. A sample ballot box is seen ahead of the 2019 federal election at Elections Canada’s offices in Gatineau, Que., Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Elections Canada says voter turnout in last fall’s federal election was actually slightly higher than the 2015 election.

The independent agency initially reported a slight decline in turnout, to 67 per cent from 68.3 per cent in 2015.

But it now says that turnout was actually up by 0.9 per cent.

The new estimate comes from an Elections Canada study based on the number of eligible electors who cast ballots in the past two federal elections.

The agency says the study is more accurate than the way voter turnout has been calculated in the past, based on a sample survey of registered voters.

Because voter registration rates vary from election to election, the agency says it can be misleading to compare turnout from different elections based on registered voters.

The study does not change the estimate that 67 per cent of eligible Canadians voted last November.

But it does recalculate the 2015 result, estimating turnout in that election was 66.1 per cent — more than two points lower than initially reported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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