Election Day in B.C. was roughly two weeks ago, but some British Columbians will have to wait a bit longer to find out who will be declared as their local MLA.
The counting of a record-breaking 662,236 mail-in and absentee ballots in the 42nd provincial election began on Friday (Nov. 6), and is expected to take at least three days, according to Elections BC.
Certification envelopes will only be opened during the final count and officials say that’s when envelopes that are empty or contain more than one ballot will be rejected. Elections BC says that means the total number of eligible mail-in and absentee ballots cast in the provincial election will only be known once the final count ends.
The BC NDP will still form a majority government, based on night-of results, but how many Liberal MLS and Green MLAs joining Premier John Horgan in the B.C. Legislature could change.
Despite a low overall voter turnout in B.C. – roughly 52 per cent, making it the second lowest voter turnout in provincial history – at least four of ridings could see changes to the preliminary results from Election Night on Oct. 24.
Those ridings include: Vernon-Monashee, Abbotsford-Mission, Chilliwack-Kent and Richmond South Centre.
In Chilliwack-Kent, the NDP’s NDP’s Kelli Paddon beat controversial former Liberal MLA Laurie Throness, who was kicked out of the party after making comments that equated free contraception wiht eugenics.
In Abbotsford-Mission, the race was declared for the NDP’s Pam Alexis, upsetting a longtime Liberal riding. Richmond South Centre has also gone to the NDP’s Henry Yao. Sunday afternoon saw a fourth race decided with Harwinder Sandhu taking Vernon-Monashee for the NDP for the first time since the 1980s.
There will now be a judicial recount in a closely contested riding in Metro Vancouver. Elections BC says the final ballot count in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky gave Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy 9,216 votes, ahead of Green Jeremy Valeriote’s 9,175. When the Greens had pulled ahead on Election Day, that riding had been the first projected to go to the party outside of Vancouver Island.
– with files from Tom Fletcher
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