Manitoba

42% voter turnout lowest for Winnipeg since 2006 election

Winnipeggers chose a mayor and to voted keep the city's most iconic intersection closed on Wednesday, but fewer than half of those eligible actually headed to polls to have their say.

Highest-ever advance turnout, but city says only 216,000 electors voted this year

A closeup of a yellow sandwich board sign reading "Voting Location" on the pavement in front of a large building.
People head to a polling station to vote in the municipal election in Winnipeg on Wednesday. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Winnipeggers chose a mayor and to voted keep the city's most iconic intersection closed, but fewer than half of those eligible actually headed to polls Wednesday to have their say.

Just over 216,000 Winnipeggers cast ballots in Wednesday's civic election, according to a city news release. That's a voter turnout of 42.33 per cent and nearly 20,000 fewer voters than in the last civic election.

The last time voter turnout was lower than that was in the 2006 civic election, when 38.2 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls, according to the city's website.

More than 235,000 Winnipeggers voted in the 2014 election — a voter turnout of 50.23 per cent and the highest number of votes ever cast in a municipal election in Winnipeg, according to the city's 2014 election website.

In 2010, a total of 213,321 electors cast ballots, making for an overall turnout of 47.1 per cent, the site says.

Brian Bowman celebrates with his family after his victory speech at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

With unofficial results in, Mayor Brian Bowman will return for a second term and voters expressed their desire to keep Portage and Main closed to pedestrians. The rest of city hall will include five new faces and 10 returning councillors.

Despite the overall lower turnout, a record-setting number of voters went to the polls early this year, the city says.

An estimated 39,500 electors participated in advance voting in this election, the city says. That's a 30 per cent increase from the last civic election, when 30,619 people voted in advance polls.

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