Saskatoon

2020 Saskatoon election saw lowest voter turnout in 20 years

Slightly more than a quarter of eligible voters cast a ballot in this year's Saskatoon election, according to a city news release issued Tuesday.

27.4 per cent of eligible voters cast ballot, still more than Regina's 21 per cent

Only 27.4 per cent of eligible voters in Saskatoon cast a ballot in the 2020 municipal election. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Slightly more than a quarter of eligible voters cast a ballot in this year's Saskatoon election, according to a city news release issued Tuesday.

On top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a significant snowstorm hit Saskatchewan the day before and day of civic elections, forcing some communities — including Saskatoon — to postpone their elections.

"Given the environmental challenges confronted, voters went to the polls," Saskatoon returning officer Scott Bastian said in the release.

A total of 58,734 voters cast ballots in Saskatoon. That is about 27.4 per cent of the 214,301 eligible voters — the lowest turnout rate since 2000, when 26.4 per cent of those eligible voted.

The city said 19,666 people voted at advance polls and 8,600 mailed in ballots.

Saskatoon had two days or general voting because of the snowstorm: 20,906 ballots were cast on Nov. 9 before the postponement and another 8,532 people voted on Nov. 13.

The city's election office experienced challenges such as long lineups at advance polls and issues with the new online mail-in ballot application process, Bastian said. A report regarding the electoral process, successes and challenges, and opportunities to pursue in future elections will be brought to city council in the first quarter of 2021.

Although Saskatoon's turnout was the lowest in two decades, more people turned out than in Saskatchewan's capital city.

Only 21 per cent of eligible voters in Regina cast their ballot in the 2020 civic election.

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