While one Greater Victoria riding saw a decrease in voter turnout at advance polls, local electors led the country in requests for mail-in ballots ahead of the federal election.
Over four days of advance voting, preliminary numbers show 804,116 British Columbians cast their ballot, up from 710,107 in 2019 – a 13.3 per cent increase. Nationwide, 5.8 million Canadians cast their ballot, an 18.5 per cent increase from the 2019 election.
Locally, it is estimated 27,201 Saanich–Gulf Islands residents cast advance votes, up from 25,185 in the 43rd general election. The Victoria riding saw an estimated 27,034, up from 26,584, and Cowichan–Malahat–Langford saw 24,695, up from 20,568.
Esquimalt–Saanich–Sooke saw a 300-vote decrease with 23,603, down from 23,903 in 2019.
While local ridings didn’t lead the province in advance poll turnouts, they are leading in requests for special ballots.
In total, 1,201,898 special ballot voting kits have been issued with 606,699 returned (as of noon on Sept. 15).
Nationwide, Victoria electors requested the most ballots with 12,294, followed by Saanich–Gulf Islands with 10,457. Rounding out the top five was Ottawa Centre with 9,655, Courtenay–Alberni with 9,633 and North Island–Powell River with 9,317. Esquimalt–Saanich–Sooke ranked 10th in the country with 8,493 requests.
Canadians are now past the time where they can request mail-in ballots but there is still time to send them in or drop them off at the Elections Canada office in your riding. All other Canadians head to the polls on Sept. 20.
– With files from Katya Slepian
Editor’s note: Elections Canada has informed Black Press Media that the advance turnout is extremely preliminary and likely to change massively over the coming days in some ridings. As such, some figures have been removed from this article. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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