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On-Reserve Voter Turnout – 43rd General Election

Correction Notice

On October 2, 2020, corrections were made to the document called, "On-Reserve Voter Turnout – 43rd General Election," specifically to data points for Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the overall turnout number.

In the 2019 general election, voter turnout for registered electors living on reserves was 51.8%, compared to 61.5% in 2015.

This turnout was significantly lower than that for the general population (67%), for a total difference of 15.2 percentage points. This comes after seeing the smallest gap between the two groups—observed in the 2015 general election (61.5% on reserves compared to 66% for the general population)—since Elections Canada began calculating turnout for Indigenous populations in 2004.

There is a difference in how these numbers were calculated. The 2015 turnout was obtained only from votes cast on reserves during advance polls and on election day. However, a methodological change was introduced in 2019 to take into account electors in Canada who voted by special ballot in their own, or in a different, riding. This group (known as Special Voting Rules Group 2) was excluded from previous calculations. The addition of this group increases the voter turnout for 2019 by 1.6 percentage points.

Elections Canada does not capture demographic information at the polls; therefore, data on participation does not include all Indigenous voters. The study is limited to a population of 380,360 people living on reserves, about 11% of whom are not of Indigenous descent. Statistics Canada estimates that 1,673,780 Canadians are of Aboriginal descent.

A more detailed report will be available this fall.

On-Reserve Voter Turnout – 43rd General Election
Province/Territory Voter turnout 2019 * Voter turnout 2015 Difference
Newfoundland and Labrador 35.0% 41.4% -6.4%
Prince Edward Island 64.8% 73.6% -8.8%
Nova Scotia 62.4% 66.9% -4.5%
New Brunswick 52.2% 62.8% -10.6%
Quebec 26.1% 41.1% -15.0%
Ontario 47.3% 63.1% -15.8%
Manitoba 40.6% 57.5% -19.9%
Saskatchewan 56.9% 67.1% -10.2%
Alberta 41.2% 58.6% -17.4%
British Columbia 63.4% 67.0% -3.6%
Yukon N/A 59.0% N/A
Northwest Territories 40.4% 55.0% -14.6%
Overall 51.8% 61.5% -9.7%
Canada 67.0% 66.0% 1.0%


* Includes advance polls and Special Voting Rules Group 2.

Includes advance polls.

Statistics Canada indicates no on-reserve population in Yukon in the 2016 Census.