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Public Opinion Survey Following the June 30, 2014 Federal by–elections

Section 3: Detailed Findings

3.1 Awareness of By-elections

3.1.1 Overall Awareness

Overall awareness of the federal by–election was 92%. Of the four ridings that took part in the by–election, awareness levels were highest in Trinity—Spadina (97%). Scarborough—Agincourt (92%), Fort McMurray (89%) and Macleod (88%) all had significantly lower awareness levels.

3.1.2 Sources of Information about the By-elections

Newspapers (40%), TV (35%) and radio (35%) were the three most cited sources of information about the by–election. However, the number of mentions of these three media varied significantly between ridings. Newspapers, for example, were cited by approximately half (52%) of those in Macleod about the by–election, compared to approximately one-third of those in Scarborough—Agincourt (34%) and Fort McMurray (30%), and 44% of those in Trinity—Spadina. In Trinity—Spadina and Scarborough—Agincourt, TV was listed as a source of information by 50% and 45%, respectively, while significantly fewer listed this type of media in Fort McMurray (18%) and Macleod (25%). Radio, on the other hand, was the medium most frequently cited in Fort McMurray, where 41% had heard of the by–election from this source. Significantly fewer mentioned radio in Trinity—Spadina (34%), Macleod (29%) and Scarborough—Agincourt (24%).

Other sources of information about the election were also cited. Candidate signs, for example, were mentioned as a source of information by one-in-five respondents (21%) while another 7% cited billboards, posters and other signage. Word of mouth was cited by 15% of residents.

Elections Canada material was also a source of information for residents of these ridings. Overall, the Householder was named by 18%, while 14% mentioned the voter information card (VIC). These Elections Canada materials were most often mentioned by those in Scarborough—Agincourt, where 28% heard about the election from the householder, and 20% from the voter information card.

Online sources of information that were cited included: non-Elections Canada websites (9%), social media (6%), and the Elections Canada website (1%). Contact with candidates (4%), canvassing (3%), work (2%) and general knowledge (1%) were the least mentioned information sources.

Figure 1: Sources from which recall hearing about the by–election
Text version of "Figure 1: Sources from which recall hearing about the by–election"

3.2 Voting in the by–elections

3.2.1 Reported turnout

Overall, 55% reported having voted in the June 30th by–elections. Footnote2 Among those aware of the by–elections, 60% reported having voted.

Reported voter turn-out was highest in Trinity—Spadina, where 75% of the total population reported having voted, and Scarborough—Agincourt, where slightly less than two thirds (64%) said they voted. Turn-out in Alberta’s ridings was significantly lower, with 43% reporting having voted in Fort McMurray, and 38% in Macleod.

Figure 2: Incidence of voting in the federal by–election (all respondents)
Text version of "Figure 2: Incidence of voting in the federal by–election (all respondents)"

3.2.2 Reasons for not voting

A variety of reasons were given for not having voted in the by–elections. The by–elections were held on the Monday of the Canada Day long weekend. Not surprisingly, out-of-town travel (29%) and timing of the long weekend (10%) were mentioned as reasons for not voting. These were identified as particular issues among voters in Trinity—Spadina (49%). Mentions about the candidates (e.g. preferring none, etc.) were given by 14% of non-voters; these were mentioned most often in Scarborough—Agincourt (20%) and least often in Macleod (10%). Other reasons that were given included work (11%), lack of interest (11%), too busy (9%), and simply forgetting about the election (7%). Lack of information about the voting process (e.g. when and where to go) was given as a reason by 9%, whereas registration problems were noted by just 4%.

Figure 3: Main reason for not voting in the federal by–election
Text version of "Figure 3: Main reason for not voting in the federal by–election"

3.2.3 Likelihood of voting online

Among those aware of the by–elections and who reported not having voted, almost two thirds (65%) said that they would have voted if they had been able to vote on the internet using the Elections Canada website. Interest appeared to be slightly stronger in the Toronto-area ridings (71% in Trinity—Spadina; 70% in Scarborough—Agincourt) than in Alberta (64% in Fort McMurray; 62% in Macleod), though this was mainly because levels of indecision were higher in that province (e.g. 14% of those in Fort McMurray and 12% of those in Macleod said they would ‘maybe’ vote electronically vs. 4% of those in Trinity—Spadina, and 5% of those in Scarborough—Agincourt.)

Figure 4: Likelihood of voting if able to vote online
Text version of "Figure 4: Likelihood of voting if able to vote online"

3.2.4 What would encourage voting in next federal election?

When non-voters were asked what would encourage them to vote in the next federal election, fully one-third said ‘nothing’. This proportion varied from a low of 24% in Scarborough—Agincourt, and a high of 37% in Macleod. On the other hand, 12% said that they would vote – that it is important to vote, while 5% said that they only vote in general elections and never in by–elections.

Other mentions that would have encouraged them to vote included ‘better candidates’ (17%), online voting (16%), more publicity/information (8%), improved accessibility of polls (for example, more convenient or closer locations) (6%), and not holding elections during a holiday weekend (5%).

Figure 5: Suggested inducements for voting
Text version of "Figure 5: Suggested inducements for voting"

3.2.5 Main Reason for Voting

Those who voted in the June 30th by–elections were asked to specify the main reason why they voted. Most did so out of a sense of responsibility, either because they feel it is important to exercise the democratic right to vote (53%) or because voting is something they always do (15%). The secondary reason for voting was political. Indeed 26% said that they voted to support a political party (7%), to support a candidate (7%), to express their opinion (5%), to oppose a party (3%), to bring about change or better government (2%), to ensure a party doesn’t win (1%) or to oppose a candidate (1%).

Figure 6: Main reason for voting
Text version of "Figure 6: Main reason for voting"

3.3 Voter Information

3.3.1 Receipt of Voter Information Card

Electors were asked if they recalled having received a personally-addressed voter information card (VIC) telling them where and when to vote. Overall, about eight-in-ten (82%) indicated having received such a card.

Figure 7: Receipt of a voter information card
Text version of "Figure 7: Receipt of a voter information card"

3.3.2 Accuracy of Name on VIC

Electors who reported having received a VIC were asked if their name was correct on it. Fully 97% indicated that this was the case.

Figure 8: Accuracy of name on VIC
Text version of "Figure 8: Accuracy of name on VIC"

3.3.3 Accuracy of Address on VIC

Electors who mentioned having received a VIC were asked if their address was correct on it. Fully 98% said that the correct address was indicated on the card. Electors in Fort McMurray, however, were significantly less likely to indicate that the address was correct on the card they received (94%).

Figure 9: Accuracy of address on VIC
Text version of "Figure 9: Accuracy of address on VIC"

3.3.4 Making Corrections to VIC

Those respondents indicating that an incorrect name and/or address appeared on their voter information card were asked whether they did anything to make corrections to the incorrect information on the card received. As previous cited, very few respondents indicated that their name and/or address was incorrect, so the sample size for this question is very small, and therefore results should be considered with appropriate caution. Among the 27 electors asked this question, slightly fewer than half (13 respondents) indicated that they took action to correct the inaccurate address and/or name on the card. The sample size is too small to provide analytical comparisons by demographic segment.

Figure 10: Making corrections to VIC
Text version of "Figure 10: Making corrections to VIC"

3.3.5 Recall of Additional Information, Other Than on How and Where to Vote, Included on VIC

Electors who mentioned having received a voter information card were asked to recall, on an unaided basis, the types of information provided on the card – over and above the information provided about where and when to vote.

Respondents clearly found it difficult to recall seeing additional information on the card. Overall, more than one in five (22%) provided a “don’t know” response or no answer to this question. Those in Scarborough—Agincourt were somewhat less likely to respond in this fashion (18%).

Furthermore, more than one-quarter (28%) of electors provided a response of “none” to this question, indicating that they do not recall seeing any additional information on their card. The proportion who indicated ‘none’ varies by riding with a higher proportion of those in Fort McMurray and Macleod mentioning that no additional information (other than where and when to vote) was provided on the card, compared to those in the ridings of Trinity—Spadina and Scarborough—Agincourt.

Aside from information about where and when to vote, electors most often recalled seeing information on the card about advance polls (mentioned by 20% of respondents). The proportion of card recipients who recalled seeing information about advance polls varied by riding: those in Fort McMurray and Macleod were significantly less likely to mention seeing advance polling information, compared to those in the ridings of Trinity—Spadina and Scarborough—Agincourt.

Another top mention was the polling station number, mentioned by 15% of electors. The proportion who recalled seeing the polling station number was consistent across all four ridings.

The requirement to show identification at the polls was cited by 8% of respondents overall. Those in the Trinity—Spadina riding were marginally more likely than average to recall seeing this message on the information card (12%).

Overall, 2% or fewer of respondents mentioned seeing other additional information on the card, such as the point that the card cannot be used as ID; the elections.ca website; candidate information; and voting by mail/at the local Elections Canada office/special voting rules.

Figure 11: Recall of other information included on the voter information card
Text version of "Figure 11: Recall of other information included on the voter information card "

3.3.6 Actions Taken to Determine Voter Registration

Electors who did not receive a VIC were asked to cite the actions taken to determine whether or not they were registered to vote in the election.

Although these respondents indicated earlier that they had not received a personally addressed voter information card, when asked how they found out if they were registered, fully 96% indicated receiving a card. It may be that they offered a ‘no’ response to the earlier question because they did not believe the card was personally addressed to them.

Just over six-in-ten said they did ‘nothing/nothing specific’ (63%) to find out if they were registered to vote (see Figure 12). The proportion taking no action was higher in Fort McMurray and Macleod than it was in the Scarborough—Agincourt and Trinity—Spadina ridings.

Overall, one in ten (10%) said that they found out at the polling station/EC office.

Figure 12: Actions taken to determine voter registration
Text version of "Figure 12: Actions taken to determine voter registration"

3.3.7 Proportion of voters who brought their VIC to the polling station

In most case, across all four ridings, voters reported bringing their VIC (80%) with them to the polling station. However, there was again some variation in this between the two Alberta and the two Ontario ridings. In Trinity—Spadina and Scarborough—Agincourt, 86 percent in both ridings reported bringing their VIC to the polling station, while in Fort McMurray and Macleod considerably fewer reported this (67% and 71%, respectively).

Figure 13: Proportion of voters who brought their VIC to the polling station
Text version of "Figure 13: Proportion of voters who brought their VIC to the polling station"

3.4 Voter Experience

3.4.1 Method Used to Vote

Voters were asked to indicate which method they used to vote. Overall, the vast majority of respondents (71%) voted at the polling station on election day (June 30th). Compared to the overall average, voters from Trinity—Spadina were less slightly likely (63%), and those from the Fort McMurray riding were slightly more likely (80%) to use this method of voting.

One-quarter of voters (25%) voted at the advance polling station. Advance polls were most frequently used by those from Trinity—Spadina, and least among those from the Fort McMurray riding.

Just one percent (1%) of respondents voted by mail.

Figure 14: Method used to vote
Text version of "Figure 14: Method used to vote"

3.4.2 Perceived Ease of Voting at the Polling Station on Election Day

Those who voted at a polling station on June 30th were asked about the perceived ease of voting this way.

Almost all respondents indicated that casting their vote at the polling station on the day of the election was easy (97%). Only three percent (3%) perceived it to be difficult.

In fact, responses were strongly positive with 87% suggesting that the process was ‘very easy’. Those from Trinity—Spadina were marginally less positive than average, with a greater proportion suggesting that casting their vote this way was ‘somewhat easy’, and slightly fewer offering a top-box rating of ‘very easy’.

Figure 15: Perceived ease of voting at polling station on June 30<sup>th</sup>
Text version of "Figure 15: Perceived ease of voting at polling station on June 30th"

3.4.3 Perceived Ease of Voting at an Advance Polling Station

Those who voted in advance, on June 20, 21 or 23, were asked about the perceived ease of voting at the advance polling stations.

About nine-in-ten respondents indicated that casting their vote in advance was easy (92%), and the remaining eight percent (8%) perceived it to be difficult. Those who voted at an advance polling station were significantly less likely to rate voting as easy (92% versus 97% of those who voted at a polling station on June 30th).

However, similar to the findings among those who voted on election day, most (84%) said that voting at an advance polling station was ‘very easy’, and another 8% said it was ‘somewhat easy’. Eight percent (8%) said it was difficult. While the sample size is small for two of the four ridings, a comparison by riding indicates that those from Fort McMurray were most likely to view voting at an advance polling station as easy (100%).

Figure 16: Perceived ease of voting at an advance polling station
Text version of "Figure 16: Perceived ease of voting at an advance polling station"

3.4.4 Perceived Ease of Voting by Some Other Method

Very few respondents indicated that they voted at a local Elections Canada office or by mail. Almost all of those who voted using these methods (n=6 respondents voted by mail and n=17 voted at an EC office) said it was easy. Sample sizes were too small to provide analytical comparisons by demographic segment.

Figure 17: Perceived ease of voting at a local Elections Canada office
Text version of "Figure 17: Perceived ease of voting at a local Elections Canada office"

Figure 18: Perceived ease of voting by mail
Text version of "Figure 18: Perceived ease of voting by mail"

3.4.5 Awareness of the Option to Vote by Mail

Respondents who did not vote by mail were asked about their awareness of the option to vote by mail. About one-third of respondents (35%) indicated knowing that it was possible to vote by mail.

Awareness was lower among non-voters (25%) than it was among those who voted (43%). A comparison by riding suggested that awareness was marginally lower for Scarborough—Agincourt (32%) and Fort McMurray (27%) than for Trinity—Spadina (41%) and Macleod (40%).

Figure 19: Awareness of the option to vote by mail
Text version of "Figure 19: Awareness of the option to vote by mail"

3.5 Proof of Identity/Address Requirement

3.5.1 Awareness of the Requirements

Across all four ridings, almost all electors (97%) were aware that they must present proof of identity in order to vote in a federal election. Smaller, but still considerable majorities (88% across all four ridings) were also aware that they must also produce proof of address in order to vote. There was, however, some variation in awareness of the proof of address requirement between the ridings, with awareness being slightly lower in Fort McMurray (84%) than in the other three ridings (Trinity—Spadina and Macleod, 90% each and Scarborough—Agincourt, 89%).

Figure 20: Awareness of requirement to present proof of identity
Text version of "Figure 20: Awareness of requirement to present proof of identity"

Figure 21: Awareness of requirement to present proof of address
Text version of "Figure 21: Awareness of requirement to present proof of address"

3.5.2 Sources of Awareness

The most frequently mentioned source of awareness about name and proof of address requirements was past experience (35%), followed by the VIC (29%). There is considerable variation in mentions of the VIC across ridings; in the two Ontario ridings, mention of the VIC was much higher (Trinity—Spadina, 37%; and Scarborough—Agincourt, 35%) than in the two Alberta ridings (Fort McMurray, 23%; and Macleod, 21%).

Other sources mentioned included: at the polling station/when voting (13%), newspapers (12%), word of mouth (11%) and television (11%). Those in Fort McMurray were more likely than average to cite word of mouth (18%).

Other sources cited less frequently included the EC householder (8%) and the EC website (2%).

Figure 22: Sources from which recall hearing about requirements for voting
Text version of "Figure 22: Sources from which recall hearing about requirements for voting"

3.5.3 Compliance with Identification Requirements

Among those voting, almost all (97%) across all four ridings reported that they had the required identification documents with them when they went to vote. In Fort McMurray all who voted reported this, while in Scarborough—Agincourt (97%) Trinity—Spadina (96%) and Macleod (95%) almost all did.

Almost all electors believed that it was at least somewhat easy (94%) to meet the identification requirements and 81% believed it was very easy. Just 5% said it was somewhat (4%) or very (1%) difficult. There were no significant variations across ridings on this issue.

Figure 23: Compliance with identification requirements
Text version of "Figure 23: Compliance with identification requirements"

3.5.4 Documentation Presented to Vote

Respondents were asked which document they used to prove their identity and address. If they did not mention a driver’s license or a provincial/territorial ID card and they only mentioned one document, they were then asked if they provided another document. For the large majority of voters, across all four ridings, a driver’s license (84%) was first mentioned as the document used to prove voters’ identity and address. There was some variation across ridings: a driver’s license was more frequently cited in Alberta (Fort McMurray, 94% and Macleod, 90%) than in Ontario (Trinity—Spadina,75% and Scarborough—Agincourt, 83%). Overall, 86% of voters used a driver’s license. Other mentions included a Canadian passport (4%), utility bill (4%) and/or provincial/territorial ID card 3%). Three percent (3%) mentioned using their VIC (it should be noted that the VIC is not an accepted piece of ID).

Figure 24: Document used to prove identity and address (all mentions)
Text version of "Figure 24: Document used to prove identity and address (all mentions)"

3.5.5 Missing Documentation

In all, 5% (n=75) of electors reported that they were missing documents at the time they went to the polling station and 66% of this group reported that because of this they did not vote. Among this group (n=49), one-third (32%) reported that they were missing a document with an address, 16% reported not having a document with their photo, and 13% reported not having their VIC.

Among those who did vote (n=26), 22% reported going back to find the missing documents, 14% reported swearing an oath, and 13% reported that they voted because their name was on the voter’s list (implying that they were not asked for identification or misunderstood the question).

Figure 25: Pieces of identification missing
Text version of "Figure 25: Pieces of identification missing"

Figure 26: Actions taken to address missing identification or documentation
Text version of "Figure 26: Actions taken to address missing identification or documentation"

3.6 Accessibility

3.6.1 Time of Day Voted

The time of day people voted varied greatly among those who voted at a polling station on June 30th, or at and Elections Canada Office. Poll hours are staggered across Canada. For instance, in the Eastern Time Zone, polls are open from 9:30 am-9:30 pm, whereas in the Mountain Time Zone, polls are open from 7:30 am-7:30 pm. Just over four-in-ten voted in mid-day (11:30am-5:30pm, 42%), 34% in the evening, and 21% in the morning. Interestingly, almost half (49%) of those aged 65 or more voted in the morning, while very few (6%) of those aged 18-34 did so.

The evening period was busier in Fort McMurray (41%), Trinity—Spadina (38%) and Scarborough—Agincourt (37%) than in Macleod (15%). This time period was also when the highest proportion of those aged 18-34 (46%) and 35-54 (41%) voted. Significantly fewer of those aged 55 to 64 years (29%) and 65 years or older (12%) voted in the evening.

Figure 27: Time of day voted at polling station on June 30<sup>th</sup>
Text version of "Figure 27: Time of day voted at polling station on June 30th"

Among those who voted at an advance poll, the most popular time-period to vote was around lunch time. Slightly more than four-in-ten (42%) voted between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Sixteen percent (16%) voted in the afternoon (2:01 pm - 4:00 pm), 21% in the late afternoon (4:01 pm – 6:00 pm) and 16% in the early evening (6:01 pm – 8:00 p.m.).

Figure 28: Time of day voted at advance polling station
Text version of "Figure 28: Time of day voted at advance polling station"

3.6.2 Location from which arrived at polling station

The majority of people (81%) who voted at a polling station on June 30th, headed to the polling station from home. Another 16% went directly to the polling station from work, while 3% said they went to vote from another location.

The proportion of voters who left from home was greater in Trinity—Spadina (84%) and Scarborough—Agincourt (85%) than Fort McMurray (72%). Seventy-eight percent (78%) left from home in Macleod. Those in Alberta were more likely to have left from another location (7% Fort McMurray; 6% Macleod) than those in the Toronto-area ridings (<1% Trinity—Spadina; 1% Scarborough—Agincourt).

Figure 29: Location from which arrived at polling station
Text version of "Figure 29: Location from which arrived at polling station"

Those who voted at an advance polling station also generally left from home (77%). Thirteen percent (13%) of this group left from work, and nine percent (9%) left from another location.

Figure 30: Location from which arrived at advance polling station
Text version of "Figure 30: Location from which arrived at advance polling station"

A majority (60%) of those who voted at a local EC office, albeit smaller compared to those who voted at polling stations, also left from their place of residence. About one-third of those who voted at a local EC office left from work to go and vote (35%).

Figure 31: Location from which arrived at local EC office to vote
Text version of "Figure 31: Location from which arrived at local EC office to vote"

3.6.3 Convenience of Distance to polling stations or EC Office

Almost all electors who voted at a polling station or EC office (97%) agreed that the distance to the polling station or EC office was convenient. Convenience was assessed equally strongly across all four ridings.

Figure 32: Convenience of distance to polling station or EC office
Text version of "Figure 32: Convenience of distance to polling station or EC office"

3.6.4 Difficulties reaching the polling station

Very few of those who voted at a polling station (2%), advance polling station (4%), or at the local Elections Canada office (0%) reported difficulties with reaching these locations to vote. Difficulties reaching the polling stations were slightly more often reported in the Toronto-area ridings (4% in Trinity—Spadina; 3% in Scarborough—Agincourt) than the Alberta ridings (0% in Fort McMurray; <1% in Macleod). This was also true for the advance polling stations (6% reported difficulties in Trinity—Spadina; 3% in Scarborough—Agincourt vs. 0% in Fort McMurray; 1% in Macleod).

Figure 33: Difficulties reaching the polling station on June 30<sup>th</sup>
Text version of "Figure 33: Difficulties reaching the polling station on June 30th"

Figure 34: Difficulties reaching the advance polling station
Text version of "Figure 34: Difficulties reaching the advance polling station"

Figure 35:  Difficulties reaching the local EC office
Text version of "Figure 35: Difficulties reaching the local EC office"

Imprecise signage was an issue in Trinity—Spadina (63% of those with difficulties in this riding reported this reason; 0% elsewhere).

Figure 36:  Descriptions of difficulties experienced
Text version of "Figure 36: Descriptions of difficulties experienced"

3.6.5 Accessibility of polling station building

Almost all of those who voted at a polling station rated the building as either “very” accessible (90%) or “somewhat” accessible (8%). “Very” accessible ratings were slightly lower, but still high, in Trinity—Spadina (84%) compared to Fort McMurray (96%) and Macleod (94%). Scarborough—Agincourt’s accessibility ratings were on par with the average (90%). Voters who identified as having a disability were as likely as voters overall to indicate that the building where they voted was accessible (98% said it was accessible and 88% said it was very accessible).

Figure 37:  Accessibility of the building with the polling station
Text version of "Figure 37: Accessibility of the building with the polling station"

Those who found the polling building inaccessible reported that it was not physically accessible (66%) and that it had imprecise signage (18%).

3.6.6 Signage

Eighty six percent (86%) felt that there were enough directional signs outside the building to help find the entrance of the polling station. This proportion was similar across the ridings.

Figure 38:  Perception of amount of signage outside the building
Text version of "Figure 38: Perception of amount of signage outside the building"

Ratings of the indoor signage were very high. Ninety-four percent (94%) said that once inside the polling station or EC office, there were enough signs to help find the room where the voting took place. Inside signage was rated slightly higher in Fort McMurray (99%) and Macleod (97%) than in Trinity—Spadina (92%) and Scarborough—Agincourt (92%).

Figure 39:  Perception of amount of signage inside the building
Text version of "Figure 39: Perception of amount of signage inside the building"

During the by–election, Elections Canada piloted a new poster, entitled “Welcome to the Polling Place, which listed guidelines for good conduct while at the polls. This poster was posted in Scarborough—Agincourt and Macleod only. Overall, 46% said they noticed the poster, and there was no significant difference in the proportion across the four ridings, despite it only being used in two of them. This suggests recall error or confusion with other posters.

Figure 40:  Notice of  a poster listing guidelines for good conduct
Text version of "Figure 40: Notice of a poster listing guidelines for good conduct"

Among those who voted, fewer noticed signs indicating that level access for wheelchairs was available at polling stations (37%), or at an advanced polling station (34%). Among those who identified as having a disability, 30% noticed signs indicating level access for wheelchairs at polling stations, and 47% noticed signs at advance polling stations (note that the sample size for those with a disability who voted at an advance polling station is small: n=13). These signs were noticed by a higher proportion of those who voted at an EC office (60%).

Figure 41:  Notice of signs indicating that the polling station had level access for wheelchairs
Text version of "Figure 41: Notice of signs indicating that the polling station had level access for wheelchairs"

Figure 42:  Notice of signs indicating that the advance polling station had level access for wheelchairs
Text version of "Figure 42: Notice of signs indicating that the advance polling station had level access for wheelchairs"

Figure 43:  Notice of signs indicating that the Elections Canada office had level access for wheelchairs
Text version of "Figure 43: Notice of signs indicating that the Elections Canada office had level access for wheelchairs"

Those who noticed the signs generally felt that they were highly visible (69%). A further 24% felt that they were ‘somewhat’ visible.

Figure 44:  Rating of visibility of signs indicating level access for wheelchairs
Text version of "Figure 44: Rating of visibility of signs indicating level access for wheelchairs"

3.6.7 Language

Everyone (100%) in the four ridings was serviced at their polling station in English, and reported satisfaction with being served in English (100%).

3.6.8 Waiting Times

Fully 97% of those who voted at a polling station said that the waiting time to vote was reasonable. Electors in all four ridings were equally as likely to rate the waiting times as reasonable.

3.6.9 Special Assistance

Two percent (2%) of those who voted at a polling station reported that they needed special assistance to cast their ballots. They reported needing help from poll staff or by friends / family. One person required a template to mark their ballot.

3.6.10 Overall Ease of Casting a Ballot at a polling station

Overall, the vast majority of those who were aware of the federal by–election in their riding reported that it is easy to cast a ballot at the polling station in a federal election or by–election (94%), with over three-quarters (77%) reporting that it is “very” easy. The level of perceived ease was equal across the ridings, at 95% in Trinity—Spadina, 93% in Scarborough—Agincourt, 92% in Fort McMurray, and 94% in Macleod.

The level of perceived ease did differ between those who voted in the by–election and those who did not. While 87% of those who voted reported it as “very” easy, only 60% of those who did not vote perceived it as very easy.

Figure 45:  Ease of casting a ballot at the polling station
Text version of "Figure 45: Ease of casting a ballot at the polling station"

It is the younger generation who are least likely to perceive the voting process as ‘very easy’. Sixty-four percent (64%) of those aged 18-34 perceived it to be very easy, as compared to 77% of those aged 35-54, 85% of those aged 55-64, and 89% of those aged 65 years or older.

3.7 Overall Satisfaction with Elections Canada’s Services

3.7.1 Satisfaction with Services Provided by Elections Canada Staff when Voting

Almost all (97%) voters across the four ridings say they were satisfied with the services provided by EC staff at the time they voted. Further, 89% reported that they were very satisfied with the services provided by staff. Interestingly, while overall satisfaction was very high across all four ridings, more voters in the two Alberta ridings reported being very satisfied than in the two Ontario ridings (Fort McMurray, 96% and Macleod, 94% compared with Trinity—Spadina, 86% and Scarborough—Agincourt, 85%).

Figure 46:  Satisfaction with services provided by Elections Canada staff
Text version of "Figure 46: Satisfaction with services provided by Elections Canada staff"

3.7.2 Perceptions of Fairness

In all, among all electors aware of the federal by–elections, close to eight-in-ten across all four ridings (78%) said Elections Canada ran it fairly. However, 14% gave a “don’t know” or “no opinion response”. When this group is removed from the calculations, among those with an opinion, 91% said the election was run fairly. While most said the election was run fairly, only 57% said it was run very fairly. However, when only those with an opinion are considered, 66% said it was run very fairly. In all, 9% said the election was run unfairly by Elections Canada.

There were some differences in the perceived fairness of the by–elections between the two Ontario and the two Alberta ridings. Among Trinity—Spadina and Scarborough—Agincourt electors, 65% and 60%, respectively said the election was run very fairly compared with 51% and 53%, respectively, in Fort McMurray and Macleod. There were, though, significant differences in the proportion of ’don’t know‘ and ’no opinion’ responses between the two provinces. In both Trinity—Spadina and Scarborough—Agincourt, 11% gave this response, compared with 19% in Fort McMurray and 18% in Macleod. When the ’don’t know‘ and ’no opinion‘ responses were removed from the calculations, the differences across the ridings are reduced; the proportion who said the election was run very fairly was 73% in Trinity—Spadina, 67% in Scarborough—Agincourt, 63% in Fort McMurray and 65% in Macleod. Furthermore, when only those with an opinion were considered, nine-in-ten or more voters in each riding said Elections Canada ran the by- election fairly.

Figure 47:  Perception of fairness of the election
Text version of "Figure 47: Perception of fairness of the election"

3.8 Awareness of Elections Canada Advertising

3.8.1 Source of Information on Voting Procedures

Respondents were asked how they received information on voting procedures for the by–election. The main source of information was the VIC (58%). However, those in Fort McMurray were slightly less likely to mention the VIC (50%) than those in other ridings (Trinity—Spadina, 61%, Scarborough—Agincourt, 63%, and Macleod, 57%). Other notable sources included newspapers (14%) and the Elections Canada householder (12%).

Figure 48:  Sources of information on voting procedures
Text version of "Figure 48: Sources of information on voting procedures"

3.8.2 Notice of an Advertisement from Elections Canada

Those aware of the federal by–election were asked if they noticed an advertisement from Elections Canada about the voting process for the June 30th by–election. Overall, 31 percent indicated that they saw an advertisement. Voters were more likely than non-voters to recall seeing an advertisement (36% versus 24%). Those living in Fort McMurray were less likely than those living in other ridings to recall seeing an advertisement (24% versus 32%-35%).

Figure 49:  Notice of advertisement about June 30<sup>th</sup> by–election
Text version of "Figure 49: Notice of advertisement about June 30th by–election"

3.8.3 Where Advertising was Noticed

Among those who noticed advertising, the primary sources were: newspapers (49%), radio (22%) and TV (20%). Voters were more likely than non-voters to mention newspaper advertising (54% versus 38%), while non-voters were more likely to mention TV advertising (27% versus 17% of voters).

Figure 50:  Where Elections Canada advertising was noticed
Text version of "Figure 50: Where Elections Canada advertising was noticed"

3.8.4 Focus of Elections Canada Advertising

Those who noticed Elections Canada advertising were asked what it talked about. The most common mentions were: the election date (28%), proof of address requirement (21%) and a reminder to vote (20%). Other mentions of close to or more than 10% included: advance polling dates (12%), polling station hours (9%), and instructions for how to vote (9%). Voters were more likely than non-voters to recall advertising of the election date (31% versus 23%).

Figure 51:  Focus of Elections Canada advertising
Text version of "Figure 51: Focus of Elections Canada advertising"

3.8.5 Recall of Elections Canada Advertising Slogan

Elections Canada advertising for the June 30th federal by–elections included the slogan: “Elections Canada, your source of voting information”.

Overall, 18% recalled seeing or hearing this slogan. Notably, non-voters were slightly more likely than voters to recall the slogan “Elections Canada, your source of voting information” (20% versus 16%).

Figure 52:  Recall of the slogan:  "Elections Canada, your source of voting information"
Text version of "Figure 52: Recall of the slogan: “Elections Canada, your source of voting information”"

3.9 Contact with Elections Canada

3.9.1 Contacting Elections Canada during the Election

Among those aware of the federal by–election in their riding, five percent (5%) said that they contacted Elections Canada during the campaign. The proportion of those who contacted Elections Canada was highest among those in Trinity—Spadina (10%), and lowest among those in Fort McMurray (2%) and Macleod (3%). Among voters, 7% contacted Elections Canada (versus 2% of non-voters).

Figure 53:  Contacting Elections Canada during the election
Text version of "Figure 53: Contacting Elections Canada during the election"

3.9.2 Getting Needed Information from Elections Canada

Among the small proportion of respondents who contacted Elections Canada during the campaign (5% of those aware of the election), close to three-quarters (73%) indicated that they had received the information they needed.

Figure 54:  Getting needed information from Elections Canada
Text version of "Figure 54: Getting needed information from Elections Canada"

3.9.3 Receiving a Telephone Call from Elections Canada

Among those aware of the federal by–election in their riding, 11% say that they received a phone call from Elections Canada informing them about where and when to vote during the by–election. Those in Scarborough—Agincourt are more likely than respondents in other ridings to report receiving a phone call (19% versus 11% overall). It should be noted that Elections Canada did not call people during these by–elections (Elections Canada never calls people during an election).

Figure 55:  Receiving a telephone call from Elections Canada
Text version of "Figure 55: Receiving a telephone call from Elections Canada"


Footnote 2 This is higher than the actual turnout as surveys of this nature typically overestimate voter turnout.