With a little more than one week remaining in the voting period, Elections B.C. has released its eighth update on the number of Metro Vancouver residents who have returned their transit plebiscite ballots.
As of May 20, during the first eight weeks of voting, 41.9 per cent or 654,691 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 616,519 ballots or 39.5 per cent of the total number of registered voters.
Ballot numbers could soar during the final week of voting.
In total, over 1.56 million residents across the region’s 23 municipal jurisdictions are registered to vote in the plebiscite.
Completed ballots must be returned to Elections B.C. no later than midnight on Friday, 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.