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Castor sees turnout lower than provincial average for byelection.

28% of the eligible voters turned out for the byelection

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

The residents of Castor took to the polls on April 9th to select a new Town council member.

In the running for the vacant seat were Melanie Robertson and Kevin McDougall, however with one seat vacant — a winner had to be declared. Unofficially, of 204 total votes, Kevin McDougall won the byelection vote with a total of 123. Melanie Robertson received 75 votes, and six were considered to be spoiled ballots.

When asked about the vote, McDougall said he was “not overly shocked” with outcome of the byelection, however he was disappointed in the total voter turnout.

““I honestly thought more people would get out for this,” said McDougall.

Out of around 725 eligible voters, just over 200 made their mark, which means 28 per cent of the eligible voters turned out for the byelection.

Higher numbers were seen during the 2015 provincial general election which saw the NDP come into power in Alberta. They won their majority in a vote that saw 57 per cent of eligible voters in the province make their mark.

The riding of Drumheller-Stettler saw a slight increase over provincial average with around 61 per cent of eligible voters turning out for the 2015 general election.

“General elections generally see more voters out than municipal elections, “said Castor CAO Christopher Robblee. “Byelections usually see fewer voters still. Having nearly a third of the voters out isn’t too bad.”

The byelection is one of three opprotunities that Castor residents will have to make change in government during 2019.

The provincial election will occur on April 16, and the federal election must occur by October as well.

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