Voter turnout in Kelowna's two ridings falls

Voter turnout nosedives

Barely six in 10 Central Okanagan residents bothered to become engaged in Monday's federal election.

Figures released Wednesday by Elections Canada show little more than 60 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in both the Kelowna-Lake Country and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola ridings.

The numbers are slightly higher than the provincial and national numbers, but still well below the percentage of voters who turned out in 2015 and 2019.

In Kelowna-Lake Country, 66,529 votes were cast, slightly less than 63 per cent of eligible voters. Two years ago, 67.7 per cent of voters turned out with 70.96 engaged in 2015.

Incumbent Conservative Tracy Gray was declared the winner Monday with 45.4 per cent of the vote.

In Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, 61.15 per cent of voters cast their ballot, also down from the 67.87 and 70.6 per cent who voted in the last two elections respectively.

Conservative Dan Albas was elected for a fourth term with nearly 46 per cent of the vote.

Those percentages are expected to change once mail-in and other special ballots are counted later this week. Those ballots will not have an effect on the voter turnout numbers.

Nationally, the 2021 election will go down as one of the lowest turnouts in history.

Just 59.5 per cent of voters marked an X on the ballot, second only to the 58.8 per cent who turned out in 2008.

Provincially, just 56.3 per cent of eligible voters turned out.

Those figures do not include people who registered to vote on election day.

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