Toronto mayoral race boosts voter turnout

The 2014 Toronto municipal election could see record numbers

When Rob Ford was elected mayor in 2010, there was a drastic increase in voter turnout compared to previous mayoral elections in Toronto.

According to the Toronto Elections website, voter turnout had stayed steady at around 30 per cent since 2000.

Over 827,000 people cast votes in 2010, the highest voter turnout since 1997.

Records have again been broken in this election. Twice as many people cast early ballots as did in the last election four years ago.

In Monday night’s mayoral race, more than 970,000 votes were cast, a 19 per cent increase over the 2010 municipal election.

The voter turnout in this year’s Toronto election was a record high at over 60 per cent of all eligible voters. John Tory won the mayoral race with 40 per cent of the votes followed by Doug Ford with just under 34 per cent and Olivia Chow at 23 per cent.

Strategic voting has been in the spotlight this municipal election.

Groups, such as Anybody But Ford (ABF), encouraged voters to vote for John Tory as the most likely to defeat Doug Ford.

Candidates, campaign managers and councillors alike all saw strategic voting as a hindrance to democracy.

In an interview with the Toronto Star, David Kelcey, the campaign manager for David Soknacki, explained some problems associated with strategic voting.

“It’s a matter of voters choosing to vote in a way that serves to vote against somebody rather than making a conscious, positive choice to vote for someone based on their normal political affiliations or normal beliefs,” Kelcey said.