MANITOULIN—In last week’s municipal election, voter turnout varied considerably among the townships across Manitoulin and Killarney, according to information The Expositor was able to obtain from the townships and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
Leading the way was Tehkummah, where 68 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots. Billings followed closely behind with a 54 percent turnout, then Assiginack at 51 percent. Northeast Town got 43 percent of its voters to the polls and Killarney boasted a 41 percent turnout.
The remaining townships that had comparatively low voter turnouts were ones that had either fully- or partially-acclaimed councils.
In Central Manitoulin, where Richard Stephens was acclaimed as mayor and Linda Farquhar was acclaimed to her Ward 3 council seat, only 34 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot.
The remaining townships were fully acclaimed, meaning residents only had the option to vote for their school board trustee representative.
In Gore Bay, 10 percent of residents voted for trustee. Gordon/Barrie Island only enticed seven percent of its residents to the polls and Burpee Mills took the prize for the lowest voter turnout—only 3.4 percent of its electors voted for trustee in what may have been the closest trustee race on the Island.
Margaret Stringer earned 14 votes, but Linda Erskine was only two votes behind with 12. All told, that meant 26 Burpee Mills voters participated in the 2018 election out of the total of 773 electors.
Burpee Mills clerk treasurer Bonnie Bailey said if she had to guess, the acclaimed council and all school board candidates being from the east end of the Island may have contributed to the lacklustre turnout.
Acclaimed Cockburn Island did not hold a vote for trustee. Clerk Brent St. Denis told The Expositor there were no qualified electors in the township. The Expositor did not obtain trustee vote totals for the unincorporated townships of Robinson and Dawson.