FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

More than 400,000 mail-in ballots requested in the first week of B.C. election campaign

Last election in 2017 saw just 6,500 people vote by mail

More than 400,000 ballots have been requested in the week since NDP Leader John Horgan called an election.

According to Elections BC, there have been approximately 406,000 ballots requested as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 27). The snap election was called last Monday (Sept. 21), in what Horgan said was an attempt to secure stability for B.C. throughout the pandemic. The next election, which had been scheduled for Oct. 2021, will now take place on Oct. 24 of this year.

Although asking for a ballot does not guarantee that a person will vote, the number of mail-in ballots requested this year has already dwarfed the 6,500 people who voted by mail in the last provincial election in 2017. Elections BC had estimated that 800,000 could vote by mail this year, far above the typical one per cent of voters, possibly leaving the province without an official party in charge till the final count, which will begin Nov. 6; 13 days after election day.

To vote by mail, British Columbians must request a voting package at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by phone at 1-800-661-8683. Completed voting packages must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Oct. 24.

RAED MORE: B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day

READ MORE: Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

READ MORE: BC Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

READ MORE: BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issue

READ MORE: In snap election, Horgan must prove COVID-19 track record to cynical voters

READ MORE: Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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