Advance voting numbers up across B.C., Central Okanagan

Elections BC released its advance voting numbers and the results are impressive.

British Columbians took advantage of six days of advance polls, far exceeding early voting numbers from previous elections.

According to Elections BC, 614,389 of an eligible 3,156,991 eligible voters cast a ballot in advance polls.

In 2009 there were 290,220 voters who showed up to vote in advance of the actual election. The following election, in 2013 366,558 voted early.

Locally the proportion of advance voters mirrored the province’s numbers, with 28,608 of an eligible 139,213 Central Okanagan residents placing an advance vote in the provincial election.

In individual ridings, Kelowna-Lake Country saw 9,184 of an eligible 46,477 voters turn out over the six days of advance polling. Kelowna-Mission had 9,535 of 45,884 and Kelowna West had 9,889 of 46,852.

Although advance voting participation appears to be up, it doesn’t indicate what’s to come, said Hamish Telford, a professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley.

“Political parties over the last decade have made a concerted effort to push people toward advance polls,” he said. “A big get-out-the-vote effort has been made in campaigning.”

Telford explained that party members contact their supporters in advance of the actual election and prompt them to vote. Although they can’t guarantee how they vote, he said, knowing a potential supporter has gone to the polls before election days mean they can be crossed off the call list come election day.

And that’s pretty much all that happens.

“We speculated a few years ago when we saw this rise in advance polling that it would lead to higher voter turnout, but it was actually lower,” said Telford.

More than 1.6 million people voted in the BC Elections on May 14. 2013 , but despite being slightly higher than the 2009 turnout, it is still a lower turnout than many hoped for.

According to data provided by Elections BC, roughly 50 to 52 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in each riding.

Just Posted

Fire command centre relocating from Penticton to West Kelowna

Firefighting resources to be concentrated out of temporary camp

Updated: Highway 97 reopens to traffic, Peachland fire crews monitor fires this morning

Crews continue to battle the 1,000 hectare Mount Eneas blaze south of Peachland

Update: Wildfire crews continue to fight fire near West Kelowna

Evacuation alerts are in effect for properties in the Glenrosa area

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire “stable” this morning

An evacuation alert remains in effect for those on Lakeshore Road

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Summerland Stomp cancelled

Wildfires in area lead to cancellation of event at Summerland Rodeo Grounds

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Tigers complete series sweep

Vernon grounds Kamloops 12-9 for Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoff title

Five small fires burn east of Oliver

At least one of the fires is suspected of being human caused

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

Victoria-area park sign removed after glitch redirects to porn site

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Five fires continue to burn near Keremeos

There are five fires in high elevation burning near Keremeos

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Most Read