Toronto voters flocked to advance polls Tuesday to record the highest-ever first day turnout, the city says. “I think we can say this is a municipal election campaign that has caught the attention of Torontonians and they want their voice to be heard,” said Ryerson University politics professor Myer Siemiatycki. The city said the tally far surpasses the 16,000 votes cast during the six weekdays of advance voting in the 2010 election. That year, some 77,000 votes in total were cast in advance. So just the first day of 2014 advance voting represents about 37 per cent of the 2010 total, with five days left to vote early, through Oct. 19. (Election day is Oct. 27.) On day one of voting in 2010 the total was just 2,690 — although direct comparisons may be somewhat misleading because the advance poll was held at only six locations that year, compared with 45 this year: one in each ward and one at city hall.
Advance polls are meant for people who know they’re going to be too busy to vote or out of town on Oct. 27.
“There does seem to be a very high level of interest in people wanting to make sure their voice is heard,” Siemiatycki said. “No question this suggests a very high degree of interest and engagement, and that’s a good thing.”