Preliminary numbers show just 52% of voters cast a ballot in the BC election

Oct 26 2020, 12:01 pm

Preliminary numbers show that an estimated 52% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the BC election, officials said on Monday.

According to Elections BC spokesperson Andrew Watson, the turnout estimate is based on a number of factors, including:

  • The number of voters who partook in advance voting, in their electoral district;
  • The number of voters who voted on Election Day, at their assigned voting place;
  • An estimate of the number of certification envelopes containing absentee ballots, to be considered at final count;
  • An estimate of the number of completed vote-by-mail packages containing mail-in ballots, to be considered at final count.

Elections BC said 670,324 voters cast ballots in their electoral district during the advance voting period, and 546,877 voters partook on Election Day at their assigned voting place.

As well, an estimated 85,000 certification envelopes containing absentee ballots will be considered for final count. These ballots were cast at absentee voting opportunities during advance voting, on Election Day, and throughout the campaign period, according to Watson.

As of voting day – Saturday October 24 – Elections BC had received approximately 525,000 mail-in ballots, though officials noted this figure does not include mail-in ballots returned by voters in person to voting places or district electoral offices before the deadline of 8 pm.

“The preliminary estimate of voter turnout will likely increase when mail-in ballots dropped off in person are accounted for,” said Watson. “Elections BC will update its estimate of the number of mail-in ballots when a more accurate count is available.”

As of September 26, there were 3,485,858 registered voters in B.C.

In the 2017 Provincial General Election, 61.18% of registered voters voted, and there were 1,986,374 valid votes.

This time around, Elections BC said the number of valid votes in 2020 could be comparable, at around 1.8 million. However, the number of registered voters has increased since 2017, resulting in a lower percentage of registered voters voting. In the 2017 provincial election, there were 3,246,647 registered voters in B.C.

As such, Elections BC said it will publish an updated figure for voter turnout once more accurate figures are available.

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