Does a drop in advance polls point to low voter turnout? – Toronto

TORONTO – Are the results of the advanced polls offering up a bad sign for voter turnout this year? Probably not, according to one expert.

36,940 fewer people cast a ballot in the advanced polls leading up to the 2014 Ontario general election.

A total of 566,845 people voted in advanced polls across the province.

Nelson Wiseman, a professor at the University of Toronto, said in an interview Monday that he doesn’t think voter turnout in advanced polls is necessarily indicative of turnout on election day.

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“I don’t think there’s much connection, although I am surprised because my sense is that most people will take advantage of advanced polls,” he said.

Fewer Ontarians than ever cast a ballot during the 2011 election: Only 48.2 per cent made it out to the polls, culminating a 13-year decrease in turnout. It was also the lowest voter turnout since 1867.

Wiseman doesn’t expect a high voter turnout this year either: it’s the summer and people are elsewhere.

“A lot of people are vacationing and a lot of people are just occupied by different things and that’s one of the reasons I think this election has got less traction maybe than the ones held in autumn or the very early spring,” he said.

Voters go to the polls June 12. Find details on how to vote, your riding profile and how to find your polling station.

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