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Federal advance polls see major jump
NWT sees voting double from last federal election

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Friday, October 16, 2015

Yellowknife was part of a movement across the nation which saw a huge spike in the number of people at the advance polls from the last federal election.

NNSL photo/graphic

Nathan Denroche takes advantage of the advance polling at the Ice Plaza on Sunday. Elections Canada provided two polling stations last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. - Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Although chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand released figures earlier this week showing there were 3.6 million electors across the country who showed up early between Oct. 9 and 12, Elections Canada was not able to break down the figures regionally until Wednesday afternoon.

The figures showed the Northwest Territories had 2,746 voters compared to the advanced polls in 2011 which had 1,262.

NWT returning officer Elizabeth Wyman refused to provide a reaction to the numbers of people who showed up at the advance polls or the number of volunteers who worked the weekend or what it was like to have so many people show up.

She directed all calls to the Ottawa main headquarters when asked on Wednesday.

David Rutherford, media relations adviser for Elections Canada in Ottawa, said while the numbers were higher than the last time, it was important to not read too much into the figures as far as it having an impact on the number of people who show up to vote on Monday.

"A question we often get is ... what does this mean and should they be anticipating a bigger turnout on election day," he said. "But there is no relationship because there are just so many variables."

Michael McLeod, Liberal candidate for the NWT, was unavailable for comment but campaign manager Kieron Testart said the numbers for those who turned out appeared positive.

"Our campaign is very excited by the results," Testart said. "We saw a huge uptake on the number of people and it is pretty clear that this election will be one of change.

Canadians have heard our message of real change and are voting in record numbers - at least considering the last election -to make that happen. We know many of Michael's supporters were part of those numbers and we are just overwhelmed by the tremendous rapport that Michael McLeod and Justin Trudeau have received from Northerners and for our plan for real change."

John Moore said in an e-mail response he thinks the result shows Elections Canada did an excellent job mobilizing the vote and that citizens have placed a high level of importance on the election.

"It is (an election) which has been a long time coming and has quite a bit riding on it," he said.

Yellowknifer contacted NDP incumbent Dennis Bevington and Conservative Party candidate Floyd Roland but a response was not provided by press time.

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