Beckett Salmon is still 16 years away from being able to cast an election ballot, but he was among the steady stream of Saanich residents heading into Municipal Hall early Wednesday morning during the first day of advance voting in Saanich.
Early polls open today in BC civic elections. These are the elections that dictate future Emergency service budgets and effect public safety. Get out and vote!!! pic.twitter.com/EdECL4Sb7C
— Saanich Police Association (@SaanichPoliceA) October 10, 2018
His sense of civic duty is of course still evolving, but his grandparents Wayne and Sandra were not going to let an upcoming holiday deter them from voting in the 2018 municipal election.
Robyn Tait was among those coming out of Municipal Hall, when the Salmons were still inside the voting area. But unlike the Salmons, she was not voting early and will be waiting until the general election day on Oct. 20.
She just liked the convenience of learning ahead of time where to cast her vote.
“If it was the 20th, it would be somewhere else, and I wouldn’t know where it was,” she said. “I live just down the way and knew where this was.”
This convenience is one of the reasons why more Greater Victoria residents are taking advantage of advanced voting opportunities. In 2011, more than 1,200 Saanich voters marked their ballot during advanced voting. In 2014 that number doubled.
In the City of Victoria, 3,410 eligible voters cast an early ballot during the last municipal election.
Saanich residents will have have three opportunities to cast their ballots early: today until 8 p.m. at Municipal Hall, as well as Camosun College Interurban Campus (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.); Oct. 15 at Municipal Hall and Saanich Commonwealth Place (8 a.m-8 p.m.), and Oct. 17 at Gordon Head Recreation Centre (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and the University of Victoria (8 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Multiple advanced voting opportunities are also available across other parts of the Greater Victoria area, including the City of Victoria, where voters can cast an early ballot at Victoria City Hall and Camosun College’s Interurban Campus.
Additional voting dates in Victoria are scheduled for Oct. 12 (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.) at Our Place, Oct. 15 at Victoria City Hall (8 a.m. -8 p.m.) and Oct. 17 at the University of Victoria (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.).
Early turnout numbers are not yet available.
“It’s steady,” said Bill Eisenhauer, spokesperson for the City of Victoria, adding that final numbers will not be available until the end of today.
Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich, said Saanich will release voter turnout numbers by end of day.
A complete list of advanced voting locations can be found on your local Black Press wesbite.