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Federal election cost each voter $12.00

According to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, the May 2 election cost each Canadian voter exactly $12.00.

That is one of the facts in the official report on the election, released on August 17.

Among other numbers in the report, the election employed 235,867 persons, of whom 228,777 were "active" and 7,090 were standby or additional workers.

The Conservative Party paid for 103 minutes of broadcasting time, compared to 69 minutes and 30 seconds for the Liberals and 48 minutes for the New Democrats. The Conservatives also had 56 minutes of free time on CBC-TV, compared to 38 minutes for the Liberals and 26 minutes for the NDP.

All told, 24,257,592 electors were on the final lists. Of these, 3,109,917 were British Columbians.

Canadians cast 14,823,408 ballots, for a voter turnout of 61.1 per cent. This was an increase of 2.3 per cent over the 2008 election. British Columbia's turnout was 60.4 per cent, up just 0.3 per cent from 2008.

Given the impact of social media on "premature public" transmission of election results, the report noted that "...the growing use of social media puts in question not only the practical enforceability of the rule, but also its very intelligibility and usefulness in a world where the distinction between private communication and public transmission is quickly eroding. The time has come for Parliament to consider revoking the current rule."

The estimated cost of the 41st election is $291.0 million dollars, compared with $279.7 million in 2006 and $286.2 million in 2008. This worked out to exactly $12 per elector, 13 cents less than in 2006 and 8 cents less than in 2008.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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