May 11, 2017 4:38 pm
Updated: May 12, 2017 1:19 am

B.C. Election 2017: Over 176,000 absentee ballots to be counted by May 24

WATCH: While the NDP and Greens made inroads into Metro Vancouver on election night, the Interior was a different story. Ted Chernecki explains why.

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Elections BC says a preliminary count of certification envelopes shows there are 176,104 absentee ballots that remain to be counted province-wide.

Absentee ballots will be counted between May 22 and 24 when the final count is done.

Elections BC says the final count allows enough time for certification envelopes containing ballots to be sent from the electoral district where they were cast to the district where the voters are registered.

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In the case of absentee ballots, they are sent to the district the voter lives in to be counted at final count.

That means British Columbians will be left in a political limbo for quite some time, not knowing how the political power will shift in the province. But the timing is determined by the Election Act.

On Tuesday, BC Liberals secured 43 seats, just one seat short of forming a majority government. BC NDP won 41 seats and the Greens won three.

The seat count creates the conditions for a minority government, in which the Greens now hold the balance of power.

READ MORE: B.C. election 2017: Liberals, NDP battle in tight race, Greens win 3 seats

The 2017 election marks the first since 1952 that B.C. has voted in a minority government. But the results aren’t official with absentee votes still to be counted and two ridings — Courtenay-Comox and Maple Ridge-Mission — officially requesting district electoral officer recounts on Thursday.

The winner in the riding of Courtenay-Comox, the NDP’s Ronna-Rae Leonard, beat Liberal Jim Benninger by just nine votes in the tightest race of the 2017 provincial election. In Maple Ridge-Mission, the NDP’s Bob D’Eith beat Liberal incumbent Marc Dalton by 120 votes.

Elections BC says candidates can request a recount of some or all of the ballots considered at initial count as part of the final count when the absentee ballots are considered. The deadline to do so is Monday.

For full election results, go here

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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