BC votes to keep first-past-the-post system after referendum

Dec 20 2018, 10:10 pm

After a provincial referendum on whether or not to change BC’s electoral system wrapped up earlier this month, voters have opted to keep the current first-past-the-post system.

That’s the official word from Elections BC, who announced the official results of the electoral referendum on Thursday afternoon.

At a press conference, Elections BC Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman said 1,403,358 completed voting packages were returned by the December 7 deadline, representing a 42.6% voter turnout.

He noted that about 6,000 packages came in after the deadline, an amount that is “very typically seen in a vote-by-mail event.”

Of the validly cast votes, he added, “61.3% supported first-past-the-post, while 38.7% supported proportional representation.”

There were also 2,461 rejected ballots, he said. “The rejected ballots are ballots that have no valid response for either question 1, or question 2.”

Boegman said that looking back on the “overall administration of the event, I’m very pleased with the efforts of Elections BC; we met the requirements of the referendum and delivered on our mandate.”

In response to the decision, BC Premier John Horgan tweeted that while he was disappointed with the results, “we’re going to keep putting people at the centre of everything we do and work hard for them every day.”

BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver also offered his thoughts on the outcome.

“While we are disappointed with this result, we respect British Columbians’ decision to retain the current first-past-the-post system,” he said.“We campaigned on proportional representation because representative democracy is one of the six core principles of the BC Green Party.”

Voters were asked two questions on the ballot.

The first question asked if BC should keep the current First Past the Post voting system or move to a system of proportional representation.

The second question asked voters to rank three proportional systems in order of preference: Dual Member Proportional (DMP)Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), and Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP).

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