Voter turnout highest in 40 years in Calgary
The city says that the election on Monday saw the most people casting ballots in 40 years of Calgary's history.
Officials say the voter turnout was 387,506 or 58.1 percent of registered voters. That figure includes the 74,965 advance vote ballots.
Mayor-elect Naheed Nenshi said on Tuesday that he is very happy about the turnout at the polls.
"I'm super happy about the voter turnout; highest in 40 years. Calgarians are really saying this is the kind of city they want and, surprisingly, I got way more votes this time than in 2013. I'm told it was the highest number of votes in a regular election of any politician in Alberta so that's good."
Despite that number, the city says they had a number of issues at the polls on Election Day including very long lineups and a shortage of ballots.
Laura Kennedy, returning officer with the City of Calgary said the city is aware there were long lineups at a number of polling stations.
"I can tell you the length of the night meant the electors that were in line at 8:00 p.m. got to vote and those electors at one station stood in line for an hour and 45 minutes to conduct that vote for themselves. Our last voting station was closed to start the count at a quarter to ten."
Kennedy said the final release of unofficial results was delivered at 6:00 a.m.
"The hand count is slower and the accuracy of the count is paramount and so the presiding deputies at the voting stations and the people at the advance count centre were taking special care to be sure the results were as accurate as they should be and they are I'm confident in them this morning."
She says that there are a lot of things the city can look at to improve the process, including scanning ballots so votes are counted as they are submitted instead of a hand count.
As for polling station running out of ballots, Kennedy said there are issues they need to consider before flooding them.
"The gauge is usually to send out 50 to 60 percent and that's based on historic voter turnout."
Kennedy says she is committed to conducting a business process review of the voting process but there business and financial requirements that need to be met before any changes are made.
"What I heard on Twitter and what I heard on TV and on the radio, I'm thinking it might be time to look into this a little more seriously."
Kennedy says the vote tabulator, used in many other cities across Canada, involves voters filling out a paper ballot where it is then counted by a machine.
"They tabulate the results through the day without releasing them, without making them public. After the last voter has voted, you turn the key and results are generated through the tabulator and then they are remotely sent to the results centre."
In 2013's municipal election, the voter turnout was only 262,352 votes or 36 percent.
The City of Calgary's unofficial results from the 2017 election are available here.