By­elec­tions Tues­day

Pre-vot­ing turnout rel­a­tively strong

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­post.com

Voter turnout has been rel­a­tively strong in the leadup to Tues­day’s by­elec­tions, an Elec­tions Nova Sco­tia of­fi­cial says.

Dana Do­iron said peo­ple are choos­ing to vote in ways that are con­ve­nient to them.

“And when they get used to it, that’s the way that they are go­ing to con­tinue to vote,” he said.

Sev­eral can­di­dates dur­ing the cam­paign have noted the im­por­tance of get­ting the vote out and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the dif­fer­ent ways in which bal­lots can be sub­mit­ted, es­pe­cially due to the num­ber of Cape Bre­ton­ers who are work­ing out west.

Elec­tions Nova Sco­tia is try­ing to re­duce as many bar­ri­ers to vot­ers cast­ing their bal­lots as pos­si­ble, he said.

“Depend­ing on when the elec­tion is, peo­ple could be out of town, or va­ca­tion­ing down south if it’s a time when peo­ple are try­ing to get out of our win­ters,” he said.

There are gen­er­ally fewer ap­pli­ca­tions for write-in bal­lots in by­elec­tions than gen­eral elec- tions.

In Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre there are 13,281 peo­ple el­i­gi­ble to vote. Up un­til Thurs­day, vot­ers were able to cast their bal­lots at their lo­cal re­turn­ing of­fice. As of that time, 368 peo­ple had voted in the con­tin­u­ous poll held in the rid­ing, com­pared with 407 for the same pe­riod dur­ing the last gen­eral elec­tion in 2013.

“It’s about what we would have ex­pected,” Do­iron said.

There were 224 peo­ple who voted by write-in bal­lot in Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre as of Thurs­day, com­pared to 210 in the last pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

“I think this is be­cause of in­ter­est in the area,” Do­iron said, of the in­crease. “Of­ten, it’s where peo­ple have gone to their homes to de­liver a bal­lot, waited for them to com­plete it, and taken it back, 224 is quite high, but it com­pares to the 2013 elec­tion.”

There are about 18,000 vot­ers in Syd­ney-Whit­ney Pier. Of those, 1,207 voted in the con­tin­u­ous poll at the re­turn­ing of­fice. Do­iron said that is com­pa­ra­ble but higher than the 1,190 that was seen in 2013.

Not as many peo­ple in Syd­neyWhit­ney Pier — only 107 — chose to vote by write-in bal­lot, com­pared to 359 in 2013.

Ad­vance polls opened Fri­day and con­tinue to­day. The by­elec­tions take place Tues­day.

NANCY KING/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Don MacEach­ern holds the door for John MacEach­ern as they make their way in­side the Mem­ber­tou Trade and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre Fri­day with their voter in­for­ma­tion cards to cast bal­lots in the Syd­ney-Whit­ney Pier ad­vance poll. Ad­vance polls con­tinue to­day, with by­elec­tions in Syd­ney-Whit­ney Pier and Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre tak­ing place on Tues­day.

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