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22% of transit plebiscite ballots returned so far

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DH Vancouver Staff Apr 22, 2015 5:09 pm

Elections B.C. has released its fourth update on the number of Metro Vancouver residents who have returned their transit plebiscite ballots.

As of April 22, during the first five weeks of voting, 21.8 per cent or 340,605 ballots were returned and counted by the elections office.

Here is a full breakdown of the returned ballot numbers to date:

  • Bowen Island: 10.6% – 286 of 2,706
  • City of Burnaby: 23.2% – 33,505 of 144,246
  • City of Coquitlam: 22.3% – 19,245 of 86,479
  • City of Langley: 11.8% – 2,066 of 17,484
  • City of Maple Ridge: 24.8% – 13,474 of 54,342
  • City of New Westminster: 13.1% – 6,027 of 45,846
  • City of North Vancouver: 15.2% – 5,195 of 34,289
  • City of Pitt Meadows: 15.5% – 1,996 of 12,845
  • City of Port Coquitlam: 13.4% – 5,174 of 38,725
  • City of Port Moody: 16.7% – 3,760 of 22,558
  • City of Richmond: 20.8% – 25,978 of 124,650
  • City of Surrey: 21.6% – 63,654 of 294,028
  • City of Vancouver: 25.1% – 104,557 of 415,160
  • City of White Rock: 16.0% – 2,457 of 15,358
  • Corporation of Delta: 16.7% – 11,539 of 69,014
  • District of North Vancouver: 20.2% – 12,223 of 60,621
  • District of West Vancouver: 22.3% – 6,701 of 30,113
  • Metro Vancouver Electoral Area A: 7.8% – 499 of 6,427
  • Township of Langley: 28.4% – 22,085 of 77,681
  • Tsawwassen First Nation: 6.6% – 34 of 517
  • Village of Anmore: 4.2% – 64 of 1,519
  • Village of Belcarra: 12.7% – 64 of 504
  • Village of Lions Bay: 2.1% – 22 of 1,069

As expected, areas that are more urbanized and possess a higher level of transit usage have a greater rate of ballot returns.

During the first two weeks of voting, just four per cent of eligible voters returned their ballots. By the end of the third week, the figure doubled to 8 per cent or 63,663 ballots and the number rose again last week to 15 per cent or 235,354 ballots.

In total, nearly 1.56 million residents across the region’s 23 municipal jurisdictions are registered to vote in the plebiscite. Eligible voters who have not received their ballots in the mail have until May 15 to register to vote and request for a ballot package.

Completed ballots must be returned to Elections B.C. no later than midnight on May 29 in order to be counted. A total of nine plebiscite service offices have opened at the region’s shopping malls to assist voters with registration and ballot return.

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The ballot question asks voters to approve a 0.5 per cent regional increase in the provincial sales tax (from 7.0 to 7.5%) to help fund the Mayors’ Council’s $7.5 billion, 10-year plan for transportation improvements.

This includes an underground extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line along Broadway, a light rail transit network in Surrey, a new seismically safe Pattullo Bridge, improved night bus service, the use of a third SeaBus and a significant increase in bus network frequency, including the introduction of 11 new B-Line rapid bus routes.

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DH Vancouver Staff
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