More than 20,000 residents of Greater Victoria voted early during advanced voting days ahead of Saturday’s general municpal election.
Areas like Victoria, Saanich, and Sidney saw large spikes in the amount of people turning out to the polls, when compared to early voting numbers in 2014.
According to the District of Saanich, 6,941 individuals cast early ballots during three advanced voting days at five different locations.
The third and final advanced voting day drew 2,767 voters to two locations: the Gordon Head Recreation Centre and the University of Victoria. The 2014 election saw 4,269 residents cast their respective vote before general election day over the course of two advanced voting days.
“We’re really pleased to see an increase from our 2014 advance voter turnout,” said Angila Bains, chief election officer. “I encourage all of the eligible voters in Saanich who haven’t yet voted to head to a polling station on Saturday. Don’t miss your opportunity to make your voice heard.”
#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
In some ways, a good portion of the electorate has already made their voices heard.
In 2014, 28,517 people voted in Saanich or 34.7 per cent of eligible voters.
If turnout in 2018 approaches the number of voters in 2014, it means that almost 25 per cent of the final vote is already complted when polls open Saturday.
Figures from the City of Victoria show 4,789 residents voted early. A total of 3,410 people cast their ballots early in 2014.
When measured against total turnout in 2014 (24,665 votes or 39.1 per cent of eligible voters), Victoria’s advance vote suggests that just under 20 per cent (19.4 per cent) of the vote already awaits counting.
Advanced voting numbers were also up across other parts of the Greater Victoria area.
- A total of 1,493 Colwood residents voted early in 2018 — a figure that represents just over 50 per cent of the total votes (2,940) cast in 2014.
- A total of 1,382 Sooke residents voted early in 2018 — up from 1,184 in 2014.
- A total of 2,028 residents in Sidney cast their ballots early in 2018 — up almost 100 per cent from 2014 when 1,045 cast early ballots.
- A total of 1,142 Esquimalt residents voted early in 2018, up from 1,077 in 2014.
- A total of 1,336 voters in North Saanich voted early in 2018, down from 2,006 in 2014, but the number of advanced voting days dropped by one to two in 2018 compared to 2014.
- A total of 1,822 Central Saanich voters voted early in 2018, up from 1,152 in 2014.
The Saanich News has also reached out to other municipalities in the region, including the District of Oak Bay, and the City of Langford, and will update numbers accordingly.