New voter turnout data shows big increases in BC, youth, and on-reserve voters in the 2015 federal election

Elections Canada has just released voter turnout information for the 2015 federal election and the results are very interesting (and not just to election nerds like us!):

  • First time voter turnout increased nationally by nearly 18 percentage points in comparison to 2011 (from 40.5% to 58.3%)
    • Here in BC, first time voter turnout increased by a whopping 26 points! (from 39.4% to 65.7%)
  • Voter turnout among younger people (aged 18-24) increased by 18 percentage points in comparison to 2011 (from 38.8% to 57.1%)
    • In BC, 18-24 year old turnout increased by 24 points! (39.9% to 63.9%)
  • There was also a 12 percentage point bump in turnout among 25-34 year old voters (from 45.1% to 57.4%)
    • Again, BC outperformed the national average with an increase of 18 points (from 41.7% to 59.7%)
  • Voter turnout on-reserve increased nearly 15 percentage points in comparison to 2011 (from 47.4% to 61.5%)
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Impact of Election Act changes for by-election voters and volunteers

The by-elections in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant are the first provincial elections to be held since the BC Election Act was amended last May. As advance voting starts this weekend, now is a good time to review how these changes will impact voters and volunteers. As many of us saw during the recent federal election, legislative amendments can affect voting procedures on the ground in both positive and negative ways: sometimes these result in a more efficient use of volunteers, while other times these changes may lead to longer waiting times for voters on voting days.

Practical impact of the recent Election Act changes:

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