Low voter turnout on P.E.I. not surprising, says women in government leader

Sweta Daboo, the executive director of the P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government, says the low voter turnout was not surprising. (Gabrielle Drumond/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Sweta Daboo, the executive director of the P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government, says the low voter turnout was not surprising. (Gabrielle Drumond/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The executive director of the P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government says low voter turnout in Monday's municipal elections was disappointing, but not surprising.

Sweta Daboo said people hear about the good work that councils do, but lately they have also been hearing about controversy and dysfunction. She believes that may have discouraged some potential candidates and voters.

"We know that typically candidates do a lot of the work in getting out the vote and encouraging people to vote and to show up at the polls and support them. So having fewer candidates leads to less of this work being done," said Daboo.

"It's COVID-19, it's Fiona. It's all these other factors that are drawing people's attentions in different directions, which certainly plays a role here, too."

Voter turnout was down in Charlottetown, Summerside, Stratford and Cornwall from the last municipal election in 2018. Only Summerside was above 50 per cent.

Daboo said it's time now to rebuild that trust in local government.

She also noted that the number of women elected Monday was pretty much the status quo, but she said given what has happened over the last few years, the status quo is better than going backward.