Election numbers report: advertising got the vote out

By Geoff Lee

November 17, 2016 12:00 AM

The 2016 municipal election cost the city $40,000, but the results were worth it, according to a report presented to council on Monday.
A total of 6,085 voters cast ballots on Oct. 26 through the use of voting machines in eight polling locations and advance polls in the Border City.
That’s more than double the turnout of 2,934 voters in 2012 when the city spent a total of $30,000 to get voters out.
The new election reports indicates folks reported the three main reasons they voted this year were the candidates, the issues and the city’s voter engagement campaign.
There were three candidates for mayor and 21 candidates vying for six council seats.
The voter engagement campaign cost approximately $20,000, with the majority of the costs being advertising. This year, the city’s legislative services hired additional polling station staff with higher voter turnout correctly projected.
The city’s plan called for posting the unofficial election results on the city’s webpage, but high traffic volumes crashed the site, prompting the release of results on social media as a backup plan.
Election night results on Facebook topped 11,813 visitors while Tweets had 42.1K impressions over a 28-day election period.
This year, the city clerk’s office noticed an increase in voters who were going to be away for both the advance poll and election day with an eye to holding more advance polls at city hall, the next time around.
According to the Local Government Election Act, advance polls must be held 3-15 days before election day.

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