Advance voting: Voters’ habits have changed, says political scientist

Advance voting has been particularly popular this year, with more than one in five turning out to vote on Sunday and Monday.

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• Read also: Popular advance voting in the Quebec region

Never in the past has there been such enthusiasm for advance voting during provincial elections: 22.9% of registered voters went to the polls during the last two days.

The advance polling station (BVA) has been growing in popularity over the past twenty years. In 2003, 5.5% of voters had voted before polling day. This proportion exceeded the 10% mark in 2007 and 2008, before rising systematically above 15% from 2012.

Before 2022, the 2014 general elections had the busiest BVA, with a turnout of 19.28%.

But even as more people vote before Election Day, overall voter turnout has hovered around 70% since 2003, with a low in 2018 when just 66.4% of voters voted. had exercised their right to vote.

“This evolution indicates a transformation in the electoral habits of Quebecers, noted political scientist Philippe Dubois. There are more and more people who are ready to make a choice before the end of the campaign. It could be for logistical reasons, but it may also be a consequence of the aging of the population.”

Quebec-Montreal disparity

The BVA was particularly popular in Quebec, where the participation rate exceeded the 27% mark in all the counties. Provincially, it was in the riding of Louis-Hébert, west of Quebec, that the participation rate was the highest, reaching 39.55%.

Moreover, 8 of the 10 ridings that voted the most are in the greater Quebec City region.

By contrast, it was in the ridings traditionally won over to the Liberals, on the island of Montreal, that the turnout was the lowest. In Westmount Saint-Louis, Robert-Baldwin and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, this rate fluctuates between 13.5 and 14.5%. In other counties, such as Nelligan and Mont-Royal-Outremont, the proportion is a little higher, above the 17% mark.


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