Toronto

161,147 Toronto voters cast ballots early

More than twice as many people have cast early ballots in Toronto for the upcoming election as compared to four years ago, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee increased turnout on Election Day.

Twice as many Toronto voters use advance polls as compared to 2010 election

More than twice as many Toronto voters used advance polls in 2014 as compared to the previous municipal election. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

More than twice as many people have cast early ballots in Toronto for the upcoming election as compared to four years ago, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee increased turnout on Election Day.

On Monday, the city released the figures from a six-day period of advance voting that ended Sunday.

161,147 ballots were cast across the city's 44 wards between Oct. 14 and 19.

That's up from 2010, when 77,391 advance poll ballots were cast.

By the numbers

161,147 advance ballots were cast from Oct. 14-19.

6,037 voters cast ballots at the advance polling station in Ward 22, the highest total of all the city's wards.

1,443 voters cast a ballot at the advance polling station in Ward 7, the lowest total across the wards.

An average of 3,581 ballots were cast in the 44 wards and at city hall.

Leisa Odlum, a senior communications adviser with the city, told CBC News that Toronto has an estimated 1.6 million eligible electors.

Ulli S. Watkiss, the city clerk, said Monday that this year's turnout is "the highest advance vote since amalgamation."

A key factor appears to be an increased number of advance poll locations in this election.

In 2010, advance polling took place at just six locations on weekdays — although additional locations were open on weekend days.

This time around there were 45 locations (one in each ward), including Toronto City Hall.

Voters who did not cast their ballots last week can still vote on Monday, Oct. 27.

While Watkiss said the city hopes the high turnout trend continues on Election Day, the increased participation in early voting may not be reflective of overall turnout in the Toronto election.

Heather Bastedo, a post-doctoral fellow at Queen's University, said there is "no real connection" between advance polls and total turnout in a given election.

However, Bastedo said that two key factors that lift turnout are when a tight race is taking place and when voters believe the stakes are high.

Clarifications

  • This story has been updated to reflect that during the 2010 election, advance voting was possible at six voting stations on weekdays and also at a station in every ward on weekend days.
    Oct 20, 2014 6:42 PM ET