More than half of all eligible voters cast a ballot in last week’s Manitoba election, but numbers fell far below that mark in the north.
According to Elections Manitoba, two of the four northern ridings saw voter turnout drop in the recent election compared to 2016.
Flin Flon saw a modest increase in people heading to the polls, going from 34.4 per cent of voters heading to the polls in 2016 to 35.5 per cent in 2019.
It is the first time in the past five elections where voter turnout has actually improved in the Flin Flon riding. In 1999, voter turnout climbed over the halfway point, with 51.5 per cent of voters casting ballots. In the end, NDP candidate Gerard Jennissen was re-elected. Four years later, 39.2 per cent of voters came out, giving Jennissen a third term in Winnipeg. In 2007, 36.25 per cent of eligible voters came to the polls as Jennissen won once again. In the 2011 election, Clarence Pettersen was elected after about 35 per cent of voters headed to the polls. In 2016, out of nearly 10,000 eligible voters, only 3,403 people cast ballots, hitting a new low.
Thompson saw a modest drop of its own, with only 37.1 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot - down from 38.12 in 2016. Numbers in Keewatinook, the riding which covers northeastern Manitoba, were the lowest of any riding in the province. Only 17.6 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots in the riding - by far the lowest percentage in the province.
Turnout in the riding of The Pas-Kameesak was up from 2016, going from 31.8 of all voters to 42.6 per cent.
Province-wide, 55.5 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots - down from 57.4 per cent of eligible voters in 2016. Only seven non-northern ridings reported turnout of less than half of eligible voters.