ONLY 41 PER CENT OF BALLOTS RETURNED IN B.C.’S ELECTORAL REFORM REFERENDUM
An advocate for maintaining British Columbia’s electoral system as it is questions whether residents care about reform, given voter-turnout figures released on the final day of the referendum campaign.
Elections BC said it had received 41 per cent of eligible ballots by Friday morning in the referendum, which asks voters whether they would prefer to keep the existing first-past-the-post system or move to a form of proportional representation.
“Forty-one per cent indicates to me that most British Columbians really don’t find proportional representation or our electoral system an extremely important topic,” said Bill Tieleman of Vote No to Pro Rep.
In 2005, voter turnout was 61 per cent. About 57 per cent of ballots were cast in favour of proportional representation, which did not meet the threshold of 60 per cent to make it binding on the government. Four years later, voter turnout was 55 per cent and 61 per cent voted in favour of first past the post. The latest referendum is binding and the winner will be declared by a simple majority of votes cast.
Elections BC spokeswoman Rebecca Penz said final turnout numbers will continue to be reported into early next week. She said the elections authority is hoping to release results by Christmas.