Record-breaking advance voting numbers predicted a high voter turnout going into general election day, and the results did not disappoint.
Victoria saw the largest voter turnout in 10 years as 43.5 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots between Oct. 10 and Oct. 20. Of the city’s estimated 66,243 registered voters, 29,707 hit the polls between advance voting and election day.
That jump led incumbent Lisa Helps back to the mayoral seat for another four years, with a clear 3,925 vote lead over runner up Stephen Hammond, taking the election with 42 per cent of the vote. Helps received 12,642 votes while Hammond received 8,717.
In 2014, just 24,665 voters in Victoria took to the polls electing Helps the first time with just over 37 per cent of the vote, casting 9,200 ballots in her favour.
Coun. Ben Isitt was re-elected to Victoria city council with 14,205 votes – nearly 48 per cent – the highest number of ballots of the 29 candidates who ran for a seat.
While the official numbers of voters who turned out to cast ballots for School District 61 candidates are not yet confirmed, overall, it appears there was an increase in voter turnout there as well.
In 2014, the school trustee with the most votes was Ann Whiteaker with 20,252 votes. On Saturday, Whiteaker took the top spot again, this time with 23,250 votes.
As for the question of amalgamation, 66.47 per cent of voters said yes, they favoured spending $250,000 to establish a Citizens’ Assembly to explore amalgamating the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria, while just 33.53 per cent of voters said, no.