A City of Yellowknife municipal mail-in ballot. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Just two late ballots have been received since polls closed at 7pm last Monday for Yellowknife’s municipal election, the city says.
“The mail-in ballot process was efficient, safe, flexible, and convenient for voters and for election staff,” wrote Richard McIntosh, a spokesperson for the city, when asked how many extra mail-in ballots arrived after the election.
On October 5, residents still had yet to receive their ballots and there was concern that the remaining seven business days would not give people enough time to get their ballots in mail, vote, and then get them back to the city.
Cat McGurk and Rob Warburton, who were running for council and received the most votes in last week’s election, both voiced concern the election wouldn’t be as effective with ballots being received by residents so close to the election date. Yellowknife’s 2022 election was primarily held by mail-in ballot this year.
In the end, voter turnout was 48 percent, with 3,939 votes cast and 8,190 eligible voters. Of those votes, 3,004 came from ballots either mailed in or placed in dropboxes, while 935 were cast at polling stations on Monday.
In 2018 during the last municipal election, which included a mayoral race, voter turnout was 56 percent.
McIntosh said the city will continue to look at ways it can enhance the mail-in ballot process for future years.