US Election: Vancouver Island residents closely watching the results

US Election: Vancouver Island residents closely watching the results
WatchVancouver Island may seem a long way from the drama unfolding south of the border. But many living here and former residents have personal stakes in the outcome of the U.S. election. Mary Griffin reports.

The fate of the presidency hangs in the balance as workers count millions of votes in a number of states cast in the US election.

Tension is growing as Donald Trump disputes the results,  leading to at least one protest in Detroit by supporters to stop counting ballots.

A former Vancouver Island politician now living in the United States is concerned.

Dr. Keith Martin was the Member of Parliament for the riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca from 1993 to 2011. Now he is living in Washington, DC, as the founding executive director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health,  the world’s largest consortium of academic institutions.

“It’s a little tense. There’s a lot of police presence here in Washington, DC.”  Martin said many of the buildings in the city are boarded up.  ”

People are hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. Hence, a lot of the buildings, including the one I’m in now is boarded up.”

The chair of the Washington state Republican Party Caleb Heimlich is also concerned.

“It’s very concerning. We saw Washington DC and Seattle where businesses were putting up plywood and boarding up shops. And that’s unfortunate.  It should not be that way,” he said.

“I’m hopeful.  I think we’re going to win this,” said Giles Hogya, the chair of the Victoria chapter of Democrats Abroad.  He said he is confident in the outcome because of the number of Democrats living outside of the United States.

“Of all the state Democratic parties, we are the 13th largest. Hard to believe but it’s true. And we send delegates to the conventions.  The only thing we don’t have is representation in Congress.”

As the election drags on, the risk of violence grows. Washington state Republicans are urging patience and calm.  “It’s important that we count every vote. That every person’s voice is heard. Sometimes that takes a little bit of time,” Heimlich said.

A winner has still not been declared as of Wednesday evening as votes are still being counted.

READ MORE: ‘Keep calm, consult with the allies:’ Canadian political analysts on U.S. results


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