REGINA, April 16, 2016 – The unofficial voter turnout for the April 4 general election was 53.5 per cent of eligible voters, and 57.8 per cent of registered voters. These are percentages calculated following the final count of ballots today. They are based on the total number of voters who were registered and whose names appeared on the voters lists prepared and used at advance and election day voting places throughout the province. It does not take into account voters who registered and voted at the time of advance and election day voting. 

“With respect to voter participation, there are three key points we are taking away from this election compared to the 2011 election. First, more people voted. Second, voter turnout of eligible voters increased. And third, and voter turnout of registered voters decreased,” says Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan.

“The reason for the decrease in turnout of registered voters is that we did a much better job at this election in registering voters. In fact we registered nearly 150,000 more eligible voters than we did in 2011. So when the denominator in that calculation increases significantly, it reveals a lower percentage.”

General Election

Population

Eligible Voters

Registered Voters

Registered Voters Who Voted

% of Eligible Voters Registered

% of Registered Voters Who Voted

% of Eligible Voters Who Voted

1982

984,778

672,952

640,216

537,165

95.1%

83.9%

79.8%

1986

1,030,078

716,322

669,716

549,985

93.5%

82.1%

76.8%

1991

1,003,140

701,117

652,233

542,760

93.0%

83.2%

77.4%

1995

1,014,187

715,675

636,227

410,908

88.9%

64.6%

57.4%

1999

1,013,074

729,831

622,500

407,707

85.3%

65.5%

55.9%

2003

996,725

734,014

603,645

428,263

82.2%

70.9%

58.3%

2007

1,007,147

747,503

598,234

454,776

80.0%

76.0%

60.8%

2011

1,073,307

789,758

605,615

403,873

76.7%

66.7%

51.1%

2016

1,144,306

812,224

750,893

 434,244

92.4%

 57.8%

 53.5%

Source: Elections Saskatchewan and Sask Trends Monitor
Last updated: April 16, 2016

“Measures of voter turnout matter,” says Dr. Boda. “They shape our understanding of public participation in our democracy, our view of how citizens engage in their communities and the extent to which those elected are viewed as having a mandate to govern.”

The official voter turnout figures for the 2011 provincial general election were 51.1 per cent of eligible voters, and 66.7 per cent of registered voters. Official turnout calculations are based on the total number of registered voters as of the close of voting, and include those voters who register at the time of voting. In 2011 there were 2,531 voters who registered when they voted, 0.4 per cent of total registrations.

Official turnout figures will be reported in the Statement of Votes for the 28th General Election, which will be released in Fall 2016.

Elections Saskatchewan is the province’s independent, impartial, professional election management body. Given a mandate from the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly, it organizes, manages and oversees provincial electoral events, including the April 4, 2016 general election. Information for voters, workers, media, candidates and parties at www.elections.sk.ca.

The following opinion/editorial was provided by Dr. Boda to the Leader-Post, StarPhoenix and CBC Saskatchewan on March 27, 2016: http://www.elections.sk.ca/media/news-releases/our-understanding-of-voter-turnout-in-saskatchewan-has-to-change/

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For more information contact:

Tim Kydd
Senior Director, Outreach & Policy
Elections Saskatchewan
306.787.7355
Tim.kydd@elections.sk.ca