VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Even though the deadline to vote in B.C.’s referendum has now come and gone, don’t expect the outcome of the vote tonight.
According to Elections B.C., it will still be a number of weeks before we know if the province’s future includes first-past-the-post or proportional representation. The hope is to get the final results in by Christmas.
WATCH: Referendum on proportional representation a wrap
Ballots had to be received by Elections BC on Friday by 4:30 p.m. by mail or in person. Voters chose between keeping the existing first-past-the-post voting system, or proportional representation. Three options for proportional representation included: Dual Member Proportional, Mixed Member Proportional, and Rural-Urban Proportional voting systems.
Andrew Watson with Elections BC says just how long it will take depends on how many last-minute voting packages were dropped off in-person over the last few days. Each package still needs to go to a central vote-counting facility in Victoria.
“Unlike in a provincial election where initial results are available on election night, in a vote-by-mail referendum, there’s that whole process that takes place after the close of voting,” he says.
The process includes reviewing each voter certification, to make sure each voter only voted once, that they were eligible to vote, and then electronically tabulating the ballots.
Even though they hope to be done by Christmas, there isn’t a specific estimated date at this point.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that ballots needed to be received by Elections Canada. This story has been updated to correctly reflect the fact that Elections BC is the organization collecting the ballots.