Higher immigrant population means lower municipal voter turnout: Study

Interesting analysis of municipal voting and immigrants and minorities in Toronto:

Siemiatycki said the top 10 wards in 2010 had average voter turnout at 56.8 per cent, with 36.3 per cent of their population being immigrants and 27.3 per cent being minorities.

In contrast, the bottom 10 had a turnout of just 44.6 per cent, with an average of 63 per cent and 62.7 per cent of their population being immigrants and minorities.

Siemiatycki attributed the low turnouts in wards with high immigrant and minority concentration to the nature of municipal elections, which are not guided by a party system like the provincial and federal elections.

“Municipal elections are confusing and it’s hard to wrap your head around because candidates have no open party affiliations. It’s more difficult for voters to identify with the candidates and what they stand for,” he explained.

“There is also the incumbent advantage in local elections. There are fewer immigrants and visible minorities elected municipally. People are less likely to vote if they are less likely to see themselves in the candidates.”

Higher immigrant population means lower municipal voter turnout: Study | Toronto Star.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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