Don’t expect all votes to be counted for another couple of days — Elections Canada

Don't expect all votes to be counted for another couple of days — Elections Canada-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Special-ballot officers count special ballots from national, international, Canadian Forces and incarcerated electors at the Elections Canada’s distribution centre in Ottawa on Sept. 20, the night of the 44th Canadian general election. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

It will be a few days before the country can get a complete picture of the 2021 federal election’s voter turnout and results, Elections Canada says.

The agency is still counting local special ballots, mostly mail-in ballots from electors who are in their local riding, and does not expect to be done until a few days from now.

Elections Canada spokesperson Matthew McKenna did not state a specific day or time the agency will have completed counting.

“We expect the vast majority of those counts will be completed by tomorrow,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “That will give a better picture of overall turnout.”

Deployed military personnel, incarcerated persons and electors who will be outside of their riding on election day can also vote by special ballot, but that counting is further along and may be complete as of today.

About  a million Canadians applied to receive special ballot kits, which can be mailed in. Although that’s far more than previous elections, it’s also far fewer than the two to three million special ballots Elections Canada was prepared for.

Elections Canada has an ongoing turnout stat available on its website. At last update, it was 58.6 per cent, but that does not include voters who registered on election day or the special ballots still to be counted.

Canadians elected another Liberal minority government in the 2021 federal election — the Liberals have 158 seats to the Conservatives 119.

Electors raised concerns on voting day about long lines, technical problems with the Elections Canada website, and polls that opened late, among other issues. Some electors who applied to vote by special ballot also said they did not receive their ballot in time to vote, or at all.

While a complete picture of voter turnout may be a day or two away, more specific statistics are even further in the distance.

“In previous elections, we’ve released things like voter turnout on First Nations reserves, or estimates of youth turnout based on surveys, but those sorts of analyses take time and would not be available for at least a few weeks — if not longer,” McKenna said.


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