More than 19K Calgarians cast ballots in first 2 days of civic election advance voting
Early turnout roughly triple what it was at this point in the last 2 elections
If advance voter turnout is any indication, this Calgary municipal election will be one to watch.
In the first two days of advance voting, 19,073 Calgarians showed up to get their vote in early.
That's about 2.8 times the turnout of the first two days of advanced voting — 6,758 voters — in the 2013 election.
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And it's a whopping 3.1 times the advanced turnout in the 2010 election of 6,145 Calgarians in the same two-day period.
That's the year Naheed Nenshi was elected mayor over competing candidates that included longtime city councillor Ric McIver and veteran journalist Barb Higgins, despite polling weeks earlier showing McIver with a commanding lead.
Here's a sense of the lineup at the new McMahon Stadium advanced poll drive-up station in Calgary. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yycvotes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yycvotes</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yyc?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yyc</a> <a href="https://t.co/sWS5Pja4uk">pic.twitter.com/sWS5Pja4uk</a>—@KateMedia
Looked at another way, turnout in the first two days of advanced voting this election got close to the total of all days from the previous elections: 85 per cent of 2013's results (22,410) and 80 per cent of 2010's (23,721).
May not be good news for Nenshi
A Calgary pollster says the early turnout may not reflect increased overall turnout.
"There is growing interest in voting early, but we don't necessarily see greater voting turnout globally," Janet Brown told CBC News.
"I think it speaks more to the fact that we are an on-demand society and that people just want to do things when they want to do things. People are just really embracing these alternate ways of voting."
But it could have implications for the incumbent.
"It implies a tighter race, and a tighter race probably implies an advantage for the challenger," she said.
"It's really hard to unseat an incumbent but it looks like the incumbent is now in trouble in this race."
The Calgary municipal election is Oct. 16.
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