Most eligible voters who didn't cast ballots in 2015 were too busy, or 'not interested'

Most Canadians who didn't vote in last year's federal election were either not interested in politics or too busy to make their way to the polling station, according to Statistics Canada.

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The Oct. 19, 2015 election saw a stronger voter turnout than the previous federal election, with 77 per cent of Canadians reporting to Statistic Canada that they had voted, compared to 70 per cent in 2011.

The largest increase in voting was among young voters, with 67 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 casting a ballot in the 2015 election, compared to 55 per cent in 2011. Among Canadians aged 25 to 34, 70 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot – an increase of 11 percentage points from 2011.

The national statistical agency said Monday that 32 per cent of non-voters said they weren't interested politics. Canadian-born citizens were more likely to report a lack of interest in politics compared to immigrants with citizenship who had been in the country for more than 10 years.

Of the eligible Canadian voters who reported that they didn't vote, 23 per cent said they were too busy, 12 per cent said they were out of town and 12 per cent said an illness or disability prevented them from voting.

Among this group, Canadians between the ages of 25 and 44 were the most likely to indicate they were too busy to cast a ballot.

Meanwhile, eight per cent of non-voters said the electoral process itself kept them from the ballot box, which included issues such as not being able to prove their identity or not being on the voters list.

Among this group, younger Canadians between 18 and 24 years old were most likely to report not voting because of the electoral process.

Prince Edward Island had the highest proportion of respondents who reported having cast a ballot in election at 86 per cent, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported the lowest at 67 per cent.

Compared with the 2011 federal election, voter turnout rates increased in all provinces, led by Alberta with an increase of 11 percentage points and Manitoba with an increase of 10 percentage points. Quebec reported the smallest increase at four percentage points.


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