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Fewer people take to advance polls so far this year

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Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
October 19, 2020 - 7:30 PM

Slightly fewer B.C. voters have headed to the polls early this year, compared to 2017.

There have been four days of advance voting opportunities across the province and thus far, Elections B.C.’s website shows 383,477 of a potential 3,485,858 voters have cast their ballot. That’s about 11 per cent of the electorate.

For the 2017 election, at the four-days-in mark, 407,360 of a potential 3,156,991 had voted. That’s 12.9 per cent of available voters. 

With three days of advance voting left, that slight disparity could close. Even if it doesn’t, however, it may not mean much. Political scientists have long said that advance voting doesn’t determine the race and with the pandemic afoot, mail in ballots have taken on new focus.

According to Elections B.C., roughly 725,000 mail-in ballots have been sent out and the agency needs people to send them back as soon as possible.

The record number of mail-in ballots represents about 20 per cent of eligible voters in B.C., though not all may be cast.

In 2017, of the nearly 11,000 requested ballots, 6,500 were cast. Mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Advance voting by the riding:

  • Kamloops-North Thompson — 5,237 of 44,809 voters have cast a ballot
  • Kamloops-South Thompson — 5,290 out of 46,345 voters have cast a ballot
  • Kelowna-Lake Country — 5,720 out of 53,395 voters have cast a ballot
  • Kelowna-Mission — 6,691 of 50,150 voters cast a ballot
  • Kelowna West — 6,352 of 53,008 voters have cast a ballot
  • Shuswap —7,331 out of 46,886 voters have cast a ballot
  • Vernon-Monashee — 5,864 out of 52,479 voters have cast a ballot
  • Penticton — 6,957 out of 48,525 voters have cast a ballot

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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