Elections B.C. has released its seventh update on the number of Metro Vancouver residents who have returned their transit plebiscite ballots.
As of May 13, during the first eight weeks of voting, 39.5 per cent or 616,519 ballots were returned and counted by the elections office.
Here is a full breakdown of the returned ballot numbers to date:
The number of returned ballots has been steadily climbing. Last week, the elections office counted 550,907 ballots or 29.2 per cent of the total number of registered voters.
Ballot numbers will likely soar during the final two weeks of voting.
In total, over 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 tomorrow, 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.
The results of the vote will be released several weeks after the voting deadline.
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.