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Surrey voted overwhelmingly to keep first-past-the-post

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)
Summary

B.C. voters voted in favour of keeping the current first-past-the-post system

But numbers show Surrey residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the current system

61.3 per cent of B.C. voters opted to keep the current First Past the Post system

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – British Columbians chose to keep our current first-past-the-post system, but numbers show Surrey, in particular, voted overwhelmingly to keep the system.

While the city of parks had the lowest voter turnout in all of B.C., areas like Cloverdale and Panorama saw more than 70 per cent of voters supporting the current system.

RELATED: B.C. votes ‘no’ to proportional representation

Political Scientist Megan Dias says the referendum was complicated enough, noting language barriers meant ethnic voters were left out.

“The language barrier definitely is a problem,” Dias adds. “You know even for people who are very familiar with our current system, you have this barrier of different terms, we’re talking about systems that you’re not neccessarily familiar with”

She says the process felt rushed, noting more deliberate consultation could have led to a higher voter turnout.

WATCH: BC Referendum – What’s on the ballot?

 

“Even the systems on the ballot, two of them have never really been talked about in the B.C. context so I think there was a lot of information covered in a short period of time.”

She says some voters weren’t engaged, and adds this was a missed opportunity for the ‘yes’ side to garner support in the city.

Dias also adds more locations should have been added for people to drop in their ballot.

More than 42 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots. Elections B.C. received 1,403,358 voting packages by the Dec. 7 deadline.