Saskatchewan's two largest cities are seeing record numbers of people voting early in this year's civic elections.

Nearly 10,000 people voted in advance polls in Saskatoon, while more than 5,600 voted early in Regina.

Election day in both cities is on Wednesday.

Joseph Garcea, a political science professor at the University of Saskatchewan, said there are a number of reasons why more people are going to advance polls.

"People are much more aware of them than they were in the past. They're much more accessible," Garcea said Monday.

"I think people have come to understand that they're not just for exceptional cases, where you were going to be out of town."

Garcea said some of the civic races have been competitive, and that's been generating more interest from voters.

As well, he said there is a greater public interest in municipal government these days.

"A lot of people are starting to realize that critical decisions and critical choices regarding everything from infrastructure to … social and community development, critical decisions are made at the local government level," he said.