Northern Manitoba leads the province in voter apathy

Northern Manitoba’s electoral districts may have collectively elected representatives from three different parties in the April 19 election – the NDP in Flin Flon and The Pas, a Progressive Conservative in Thompson and a Liberal in Keewatinook – but they have one thing in common: the lowest voter turnouts in Manitoba.

Keewatinook had the lowest turnout of any constituency in the province April 19, with only 24.18 per cent of its 13,214 voters – 3,195 in total – making a trip to the ballot box, simultaneously earning it the distinction of being the only electoral district with less than 30 per cent turnout.

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The Pas was second lowest, with less than a third of eligible voters casting ballots. There, 4,498 or 14,425 eligible voters exercised their democratic right, a rate of 31.18 per cent. Flin Flon followed closely behind with 34.85 per cent of 9,559 eligible voters (3,331 in total) casting a ballot. The only other electoral district in the province with a turnout of less than 40 per cent was Thompson, where 3,865 of 10,138 eligible voters marked their preference on a ballot (38.12 per cent).

The only other electoral districts in the province with less than half of eligible voters voting were Point Douglas in Winnipeg (43.26 per cent) and Tyndall Park (49.18 per cent).

Provincewide, 58.87 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots in the April 19 election.

Keewatinook was lowest in total votes cast, followed by Flin Flon, Thompson and The Pas.

Flin Flon NDP candidate Tom Lindsey had the lowest vote total of any winner, with 1,080 people choosing him, or about 11 per cent of eligible voters. That was about the same percentage as those who picked the Liberal winner Judy Klassen in Keewatinook (1,514 votes) while Thompson winner Progressive Conservative Kelly Bindle received about 17 per cent of the total number of eligible voters.

Thompson had 21 rejected ballots and 20 voters declined ballots. The total number of votes cast in Thompson was in line with the previous three elections. In 2011, 3,884 people voted in the Thompson electoral district, while 4,108 people cast ballots in 2007. In 2003 the total was 3,978, while in 1999 5,343 people cast ballots. The total in 1995 was 5,884.

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