The province of Saskatchewan had the fourth-highest voter turnout among Canada’s provinces and territories in the 2015 federal election that led to a new Liberal majority government. Among Saskatchewan’s registered voters, 72.1 per cent cast ballots, compared to 63.1 per cent in 2011.
The latest results in Saskatchewan are also above the nationwide turnout of 68.5 per cent this election.
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Young voters and First Nations people helped contribute to the increase, according to John Courtney, senior policy fellow at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
“The students were so engaged in this election. I was struck around the university, time and time again, by how many young people said they had voted, either at the advanced poll or at the election,” Courtney said.
More polling stations on reserves led to greater First Nations involvement, he added. Courtney was one of the panellists at a post-election discussion at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Wednesday.
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This week’s vote was the first time Morgan Seidler could mark a ballot in a federal election. The U of S public administration student is encouraged by increased voting.
“I truly believe it’s because young people got out this time,” Seidler said, “I think younger people are more engaged, because the issues affecting young people are different from the issues affecting older people.”
The current statistics don’t include voters who registered on election day so these numbers will increase when the data is updated by Elections Canada.