Voter turnout for the University Students’ Council presidential election spiked to 27.9 per cent this year. This is the highest turnout rate in the past three years, jumping eight per cent since 2014 when only 19.4 per cent of the students came out to vote.
Out of the 32,796 students who were eligible to vote, a total of 9,164 students voted in this year’s election.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night and the elections governance committee confirmed these numbers soon afterwards.
Voter turnout rates have been climbing over the past couple of years. In 2014, there was a substantial dip in the number of students who came out to vote, with only 19.4 per cent of eligible voters taking the time to vote. However, Western turnout rates used to be much higher.
In 2012, 36.8 per cent of students came out to vote and in 2009, 39 per cent of the student population voted — this has been the highest turnout rate in the past decade.
Some have attributed the 2014 dip to the second year of the slate system and a relatively bland election. However, turnout rates have been steadily climbing since then, with this year's rates continuing the trend.