The deadline to cast a vote in the referendum on electoral reform is Nov. 30. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Vancouver Islanders among B.C.’s most engaged on electoral reform

Parksville-Qualicum and Courtenay-Comox lead the province in voter turnout, Island high in general

Central Vancouver Islanders are leading the way in electoral reform voting in British Columbia.

With just nine days to go before the deadline in the proportinal representation referendum, the Parksville-Qualicum riding has the best voter turnout in B.C. with 22.7 per cent of eligible voters having ballots returned and screened.

Courtenay-Comox is hot on their heels in second at 21.2 per cent. The Island ridings are two of just four ridings across the province where turnout has reached one in five.

Overall numbers are slowly climbing. Elections BC reported a total 810,000 ballot packages had been received, although the percentage of those screened is at about 12 per cent. That translates to 414,549 screened packages from an eligible 3,295,513 registered voters.

Counting ballots received, but yet to be screened, roughly 25 per cent of British Columbians have cast a vote as of Wednesday morning.

RELATED: What you need to know about the pro-rep debate

With the province at about 12 per cent, voting percentages across Vancouver Island are stacking up very well, with every riding north of the Malahat ahead of the pack.

Cowichan Valley and Mid-Island Pacific Rim are both at 16.1. Nanaimo is at 16.2 and Nanaimo-North Cowichan 16.7. North Island has registered 17.3.

In Greater Victoria, numbers are generally lower, but relatively consistent with municipalities across the province.

Roughly 13 per cent of eligible voters in Esquimalt-Metchosin have sent ballots, while in Langford-Juan de Fuca it is 10.9 per cent and in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, 14 per cent.

RELATED: John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

In Saanich North and the Islands, 15.9 per cent of voters exercised their right to participate in how the province conducts elections, while in Saanich South, just 11.8 per cent of ballots were received.

In Victoria-Beacon Hill, 12.3 per cent of voters have participated in the referendum and 10.6 per cent in Victoria-Swan Lake.

Residents in B.C. are voting to decide whether they are in favour of changing the way the province elects its politicians and in turn, governs. Voters have the option to scrap the current first-past-the-post method and replace it with proportional representation.

RELATED: Just 1 per cent of the province has voted in electoral referendum

British Columbians have until midnight on Nov. 23 to request a ballot package and can return them by mail or to a Referendum Service Office or Service BC Centre. The deadline for all ballot packages is Nov. 30.

These numbers do not reflect packages that have been received by Canada Post and not yet transferred to Elections BC.


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