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Vancouver's 2018 civic election cost $4.1 million

Line-up to vote at a Vancouver voting station Oct. 20, 2018. (Source: Tim Bray, contributed)
Summary

Vancouver spent $4.1 million, up $1.2 million from 2014

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — It seems voter turnout and how much is spent on an election aren’t necessarily related.

Vancouver spent $4.1 million on the 2018 election, and 39.4 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots, $1.2 million more than 2014 ($2.9 mil) when turnout was at 43.4 per cent, according to a staff report.

RELATED: Vancouver’s voter turnout drop may be related to new campaign finance rules

Most of the cost increases comes from staffing and technology — $1.8 million and $1.12 million respectively. Some of that cost comes from hiring 375 more election workers and renting equipment to read ballots.

And despite an effort to decrease wait times, they were still an issue for voters, and were the most common complaint the city received during the election.

RELATED: Some voters walk away from polls because of long lines

In the report the city says the wait times were because of lengthy ballots and the time taken by the tabulators to read them.

As for why more people didn’t vote, an Insights West poll found not knowing enough about the candidates or the issues was the top reason. ‘Too many candidates’ was another top reason, while others cited long lines and bad weather as the reason they didn’t cast a ballot.

 

The staff report also outlines which election centres were busiest: Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, and Mount Pleasant Community Centre.

Council is scheduled to receive the report next week.