B.C. might not have a clear winner on election night, but Kamloops, Okanagan ridings should | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. might not have a clear winner on election night, but Kamloops, Okanagan ridings should

October 21, 2020 - 6:30 AM

More than one-fifth of B.C. residents have been sent mail-in ballots for the Oct. 24 election.

That could mean that the final outcome of the provincial election and the results in close ridings may have to wait a couple of weeks for the mail-in ballots to be counted.

“It’s possible that the complete picture of the outcome isn’t known until the final count is complete,” Elections B.C. communications director Andrew Watson told iNFOnews.ca. “It’s really going to depend on what the outcome is on election night and how many mail-ins we have in any given district and what the margins are in that district.”

Five of the seven ridings in Okanagan and Kamloops regions are considered safe or likely Liberal seats while two are ranked as leaning Liberal seats by 338Canada.com.

It’s the leaning ridings that stand the greatest risk of not being determined on election night.

Vernon-Monashee is considered Liberal leaning by the website. It shows the Liberals at 41.1 per cent versus the NDP at 35.5 per cent.

It has the second-lowest percentage rate of people who asked for mail-in ballots at 16.7 per cent. That means that, potentially, 8,747 of the riding’s 52,479 registered voters will mail in their ballots.

The other Liberal leaning riding is Kamloops-North Thompson with a predicted 40.2 per cent Liberal win vs 36.6 per cent for the NDP.

It has the lowest rate of mail-in ballot requests at 12.8 per cent. That’s 5,744 out of 44,809 potential voters.

The Penticton riding is rated as leaning Liberal at 44.8 per cent Liberal vs 34.3 per cent NDP.

The other four ridings: Kelowna-Mission, Kelowna-Lake Country, Kelowna-West and Kamloops-South Thompson are all considered safe Liberal ridings with 52 to 60 per cent of the popular vote.

Out of the 749,279 ballots mailed out to B.C. voters by yesterday, Oct. 19, about 304,000 have been returned.

Normally, counting of those ballots doesn’t start until 13 days after the election, Watson said.

READ MORE: ELECTION 2020: Here’s what you need to know about mail-in voting

That also holds true for any absentee ballots that might be cast. In the 2017 election there were 190,000 of those but, Watson said, there’s no way to predict how many of those will be cast this year with so many mail-in ballots.

Votes cast in advance polls – which end tomorrow – will be counted election night along with the regular ballots.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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