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One in five registered B.C. voters have returned electoral reform ballots

Last Updated Nov 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm PDT

FILE: The 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform package and mail in ballot from Elections B.C. is pictured in North Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The number of ballots in the referendum on electoral reform returned by registered voters in BC has now topped 21 per cent.

Andrew Watson with Elections BC says that works out to more than 682,000 completed voting packages.

“That doesn’t include packages that are at Canada Post that haven’t been transferred to Elections BC yet. We did see an increase last week and we’ll see how the remainder of this week goes.”

Watson says no decision has been made on whether to give voters more time to return ballots past the Nov. 30 deadline, should strike action at Canada Post escalate.

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“We’re just encouraging voters to return their voting packages as soon as they’re able,” Watson said. “They can still do that by the mail and they can also do it in person at any referendum service office or Service BC centre. Another key deadline that’s coming up at the end of the week is to request a voting package, if you haven’t received yours already.”

Right now, the riding recording the highest returns is Parksville-Qualicum at 20 per cent. More than 9,000 of close to 47,000 registered voters have returned ballots there.

Surrey-Green Timbers has the lowest turnout so far, at 3.4 per cent. Only 965 of more than 28,000 possible votes have been cast in that riding.

Watson says those numbers may simply reflect that registered voters on Vancouver Island may have received their packages earlier than certain parts of the Lower Mainland.