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2016 Plebiscite on Democratic Renewal

Eligible voters on Prince Edward Island were given a unique opportunity to vote on Democratic Renewal or as some refer to as Electoral Reform. Legislation was passed in the PEI Legislative Assembly, allowing Elections PEI to register voters as young as 16 years of age on or by November 7th, 2016 to vote in the plebiscite. This was an historical event as voters this young have never been counted before in a provincial vote anywhere in Canada.
Electors had their choice of three ways to cast their vote for Electoral Reform. The voting period was ten days October 29th, 2016 until Monday November 7th, 2016. These ten days introduced electronic voting to Islanders; yet another first for Canada, with Internet Voting and Telephone Voting being used on a provincial scale. Voters who preferred the traditional paper ballot method of voting were allotted two days within the voting period; Friday November 4th, 2016 and Saturday November 5th, 2016.

 

Public Education

Elections PEI was tasked with delivering the public education on the five electoral options which were presented on the ballot, and on the preferential vote which was to be used for the plebiscite.

 

The Ballot 

A Preferential Voting System was used to rank the five Electoral Systems on the Plebiscite Ballot. The paper ballot listed all five options horizontally in alphabetical order, with corresponding vertical lines for their choices. A voter was to select their most preferred option, and then mark in the designated circle in the first choice column. If they chose to rank more than one, they would make a mark in their second most preferred option vertical column.


The Results

PEI traditionally has a high voter turnout for provincial general elections, usually well over 80%. The plebiscite had a low voter turnout.  The following outlines the turnout, voting by channel and the overall results.
Plebiscite Voter Turnout
Eligible electors      102,464
Total voter turnout  37,354* (36.5%)
Valid ballots cast 37,040
Rejected Ballots 317 *

Overall Turnout by channel
Internet - 30,277
Telephone - 3513
In-person paper ballot - 3564

Results After Final Round of Preferential Voting
System Totals % of Votes
Mixed Member Proportional 19418 52.42
First-Past-The-Post 15869 42.84
                                                                                          
More detailed information regarding the 2016 Plebiscite on Deomcratic Renewal can be found in the
Report of the Chief Electoral Officer

 

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