Ben Stewart votes early with fellow constituents

Ben Stewart casts an early vote this morning at the voting station at Emmanuel Church on Hebert Road in West Kelowna.

KELOWNA - It was a busy morning at the advance voting station in West Kelowna's Emmanuel Assembly Church.

Among the many Westside-Kelowna constituents lining up to vote was former MLA Ben Stewart. Elected in the May provincial election with almost 60 per cent of the popular vote, Stewart gave up his seat last month to make room for a byelection. The byelection will allow Premier Christy Clark another chance to hold a seat after losing in her Vancouver-Point Grey riding.

While Stewart seemed to be in good company today, he says it's hard to move on from his leading role.

"There is this strong connection... MLA's, you work hard to build up a relation of trust with the voters and when you end up having to confront step think about that because those are the people who got you there."

While some constituents have expressed disappointment in losing their MLA of choice he says people are conscious of the bigger picture.

"I'm sure the riding will be very well represented," he says.

Today, the priority is making sure there's still a strong voter turnout for the byelection. Stewart says typically the first day of advance voting is the busiest, and that's a good thing with summer vacations around the corner, which could mean some forgetting to cast their vote.

"That's what we don't want to have happen," he says.

Advance voting stations will be open until Saturday July 6th.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at or call (250)718-0428.

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