Public Opinion Survey Following the October 24, 2016, By-election in the Medicine Hat–Cardston–Warner Riding
This section examines the issues related to the experience voters had at the polls.
Voting Seen to be Easy
Canadians who voted were asked how easy it was to vote. Ninety-one percent felt it was very easy, with 5% saying somewhat easy. Few (4%) characterized voting as difficult.
Ease of Voting
Polling Centre Convenient and Easy to Reach
Of those who voted in person in the October 24, 2016, by-election, nearly all found their polling centre convenient and easy to reach. Ninety-seven percent said the location was a convenient distance from their home, while 98% said they had no difficulty reaching the voting location.
Women (99%) were more likely to say that the voting location was a convenient distance from their home. In addition, the likelihood of feeling this way decreased with education, from 100% among electors with a high school education or less to 95% among university graduates.
Among those who experienced difficulties reaching the voting facility (13 respondents), the most-cited reason was the polling station address being difficult to find (6 respondents). Also identified were imprecise signage (5 respondents) and the physical accessibility of the voting facility (2 respondents).
Difficulties Reaching Voting Facilities
Facilities Suitable and Have Plenty of Signage
Voters were satisfied with the facility in which they cast their ballot. Nine in ten (90%) said they found the facility very suitable, with 8% saying somewhat suitable.
Furthermore, 95% of those who voted in person felt that the facilities had enough directional signs.
Men (87%) were less likely than women (93%) to say that the building where they voted was very suitable.
Experience at Polling Station
The largest proportion of voters (42%) said they voted between noon and 5:00 p.m. That said, morning voting was also popular (23%), as was evening voting (30%).
Most voters (70%) said it took them 5 minutes or less to cast their ballot at the polling station. Twenty-one percent said it took them between 6 and 10 minutes to vote. The rest of the time options were reported by small numbers. For ordinary polls, the average time taken to vote was 6 minutes and the median was 5 minutes. For advance polls, the average time was 8 minutes and the median was 5 minutes. Nearly all voters (97%) felt that the time it took them to vote was reasonable.
All of the voters were served in English at the polling stations. Furthermore, nearly all of them (99%) were satisfied with the service they received in English.
|Experience at Polling Station||%|
|Q22. Do you remember approximately what time it was when you went to vote?|
|Before 8:00 a.m. to noon||23%|
|Noon to 5:00 p.m.||42%|
|5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.||30%|
|Q23. To the best of your knowledge, how long did it take you to vote?|
|5 minutes or less||70%|
|Longer than 30 minutes||1%|
|Q24. Would you say that this was a reasonable amount of time?|
|Q25. In which official language were you served?|
|Q26. Were you satisfied or not with the official language in which you were served?|
|No, not satisfied||1%|
Overwhelming Satisfaction with Elections Canada Staff
There was widespread satisfaction with the services provided by Elections Canada staff. Ninety-one percent of those who voted in person were very satisfied with Elections Canada staff while 7% were somewhat satisfied. Only 1% expressed any degree of dissatisfaction.
Compared to men (87%), women (95%) were more likely to say that they were very satisfied with Elections Canada staff.
Satisfaction with Elections Canada Staff
Widespread Satisfaction with Voting ExperienceFootnote 1
Virtually everyone who said they voted in the by-election was satisfied with their voting experience. Specifically, 86% of those who voted were very satisfied and 12% were somewhat satisfied with the experience.
Satisfaction with Overall Voting Experience
Return to source of Footnote 1 The sample of voters who voted in the by-election was split in half: half were asked to rate their satisfaction with their voting experience using the scale very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied; the other half were asked to rate their satisfaction using the scale very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. Overall, the different response categories had little impact on the results.