Polls across Vancouver Island saw a sizeable drop-off in voter turnout on election day
It comes as no surprise as a record number of British Columbians voted before Saturday’s election. As of Friday 480,000 vote-by-mail ballots were cast, a 7,200 per cent increase from the 2017 election.
There were also 681,000 ballots cast in the seven days of advance voting.
“It’s been pretty quiet. I would say a steady trickle,” said the Deputy District Electoral Officer for Victoria Beacon-Hill Teri Kerr earlier Saturday.
“We had so many voters in advanced and we had so many vote by mail that we kind of expected that.” She added
The number of votes from Saturday will not be known until later, but it’s hard to believe the total will be anywhere close to the 1.2 million who went to the polls in 2017.
Preliminary results from the advanced and general poles will start to be released around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, but with so many vote by mail ballots, the province could be weeks away from knowing the final results.
“The mail-in ballots and absentee ballots are counted usually 13 days after that in what’s called final count. The reason for that time period is that all of those mail-in and absentee ballots have to be vetted to make sure multiple voting didn’t occur,” said Andrew Watson, communications director with Elections BC.
Adding to the unprecedented nature of the election was the fact that it was the first-ever Saturday election.
The decision to move the election to a Saturday had nothing to do with the pandemic or snap election call. It was previously put into legislation and all future provincial elections will take place on a Saturday