Record numbers of people rushed to the advanced polling stations this year.
The City of Victoria offered four days of advanced voting at five locations, resulting in 4,789 cast ballots.
That’s more than quadruple the advanced voter turnout from 2008, totalling roughly 7 per cent of all registered voters this year.
Chief Electoral Officer Chris Coates said this increase is a result of several factors, including a slight increase in the city’s population, as well as an increased use of advertising and social media campaigns.
He believed, however, that one of the largest factors may be the date of the election.
“This is the first year for an election to be conducted in October instead of November,” Coates said. “That could have an impact on the number of folks coming out, not to mention we’ve had some pretty fabulous weather.”
The provincial move came after there were several lobbies to move to an earlier date since many parts of B.C. experience harsher weather by November.
Additionally, advance votes have only been open to everyone for the past decade. Beforehand theywere specifically reserved for those who would be out of town during the election but this was changed in 2008. Recently provincial legislation also gave municipalities the autonomy to set their own number of advanced voting days.
The trend for increased advanced voter turnout isn’t limited to Victoria. In Colwood 1,493 advance votes were cast which compares to its total voter turnout in 2014 of 2,940 voters.
1493 votes cast in #Colwood after two Advance Voting days. On track for a great turnout…last election the final voter total was 2940.
— City of Colwood (@cityofcolwood) October 18, 2018
In Saanich, a record number of advanced votes were cast, totalling 6,941, up 38.5 per cent from its 2014 numbers.
#SaanichVotes 2018 is shaping up to be a well-attended election. Great to see all the engaged #Saanich voters taking the time to have their voice heard at the polls! Haven't voted yet? See you this Saturday! https://t.co/9Jgan14ZKk pic.twitter.com/vDEQFZUNrL
— District of Saanich (@saanich) October 18, 2018
Election day will happen on Saturday Oct. 20 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For information on where to vote and who and what will be on the ballot, you can visit victoria.ca/election
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