Pre-voting turnout relatively strong
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.
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.