Record number of British Columbians cast votes ahead of Election Day

Record number of British Columbians cast votes ahead of Election Day
WatchMore than a million British Columbians cast their ballots ahead of Election Day on Saturday. According to Elections BC, that is a historic number of advance and mail-in votes.

Party leaders were making the final push for votes on the second last day of campaigning Thursday.

BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau started in Sidney with a jab at BC NDP Leader John Horgan.

“The calculation was made by John Horgan that it was OK to take the risk of an unnecessary election during this pandemic.  And now here we are in the second wave, with over 200 cases reported yesterday,” she said.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, 70 per cent of the record 203 cases reported Wednesday originated in the Fraser Health Authority.

Horgan started his day with a virtual town hall meeting, but responded to Furstenau in a news conference, saying the latest spike has nothing to do with the election.

“We are two days away from election day. and the increase in cases from Fraser Health had nothing to do with an election. But had everything to do with weddings, funerals, celebrations of life,” Horgan said.

While campaigning in Tsawwassen, BC Liberal leader, Andrew Wilkinson, also took aim at Horgan, saying the election is hard on seniors, a group vulnerable during the pandemic. 

“A lot of people, particularly our seniors don’t want to go to the public polling place. They may have received a mail-in ballot. They may have trouble filling out the ballot.  Then they are asked to use a telephone voting system.  These are all unnecessary obstacles to exercising democratic rights in a totally unnecessary election,” Wilkinson said.

Some British Columbians may be worried about voting during a pandemic however, the data says something different. 

Andrew Watson, communications manager with Elections BC, said a record number of registered voters have already cast their votes. 

“Already over a million voters have cast a ballot in the election. Certainly different from what we’ve seen in the past in terms of the number of voters participating in the election before election day,” Watson said.

With an estimated 400,000 mail-in ballots to be counted after election day, it may take up to three weeks for the final tally on all 87 ridings.

READ MORE:  B.C. registers 274 new COVID-19 cases, highest daily increase since pandemic began

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