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HomeNewsHay River NewsSome NWT election turnout figures were truly dismal

Some NWT election turnout figures were truly dismal

Full, final results for November’s territorial election were published online earlier this week – and they show just how few people bothered to vote in some areas.

We already knew turnout had been low in many parts of the territory, and particularly so in Yellowknife.

But voting statistics broken down by polling station show some areas of the city in which almost nobody appeared to care about the result.

Some politicians have pointed out, in turn, that voter lists in the NWT are unreliable at best – and can include dozens of people who have long since left the area, making it harder to accurately gauge turnout.

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According to the statistics, Range Lake residents were among the worst offenders.

There was an overall turnout of 32 percent in Range Lake – or 662 out of 2,092 registered voters – which, on the face of it, is not dissimilar to the figure in several other ridings.

But one Range Lake polling station received a turnout of just eight percent. Of 270 registered voters, only 22 showed their faces: 14 voting for incumbent Daryl Dolynny and the remaining eight choosing Caroline Cochrane-Johnson.

Explore the data: Official results from the 2015 NWT election (pdf)

Cochrane-Johnson went on to win the riding by a mere five votes in the territory’s tightest campaign – one in which hundreds upon hundreds of residents showed no apparent interest.

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Things were little better in some areas of Glen Abernethy’s Great Slave riding, where one polling station experienced a 13 percent turnout (equating to 68 out of 535 registered voters). Both Frame Lake and Kam Lake had wards with 14 percent turnout.

While the South Slave generally posted better figures, residents of Enterprise were notable for a turnout of just 20 percent.

The full results also show that re-elected Deh Cho MLA Michael Nadli relied heavily on support in his home community of Fort Providence.

Only in Providence was Nadli – convicted of assault on his spouse last year – the leading candidate, with three other communities backing Ronald Bonnetrouge. However, Nadli won the seat by a four percent margin.

There was one bright point in the polling data: the community of Dettah delivered an impressive 106 percent turnout.

Turnout above 100 percent is usually explained by more people turning up and registering on the day, above and beyond the previously established count of registered voters.

Dettah had 63 registered voters but 67 people arrived to cast their vote, helping to elect Tom Beaulieu to the new Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh seat.

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