Just 1 per cent of ballots have been returned so far in the B.C. electoral reform referendum
British Columbians aren’t racing to get their ballot into the mail for the ongoing electoral reform referendum. As of Nov. 6, 33,463 votes, or one per cent, have been received by Elections BC.
“It can be a bit deceiving because people just received their ballot on Friday and haven’t had the time to get it back,” Attorney General David Eby said.
“I just encourage all British Columbians to get out there and vote.”
There are currently eight ridings where zero ballots have been returned. The riding of Courtenay-Comox is doing the best so far, with 2,103 ballots already returned.
Ballots started getting mailed out on Oct. 22 and voters have until 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 to return them to Elections BC.
“The initial mail-out of voting packages was completed on November 2, 2018,” Elections B.C. Communications Director Rebecca Penz said in an email. “Completed voting packages are just starting to come back to Elections BC. It is early days, and the response rate is in line with what we would expect.”
WATCH HERE: What you need to know before casting your electoral reform ballot
But B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says he is very concerned about the low voting numbers. Wilkinson is participating in an electoral reform debate on Thursday against premier John Horgan.
The debate is a joint broadcast between Global News and CBC. Wilkinson says if voter turnout is low it could lead to significant questions about the result.
“We as a society need to be very worried that this referendum could be illegitimate,” Wilkinson said. “The goal of the debate is to get the information in front of British Columbians because there is not enough information available to them.”
“I think the major concern is that people get the voting package, realize how confusing the ballot is and they feel they wouldn’t be voting responsible if they pick one of the systems.”
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says he has already cast his ballot in favour of changing the electoral system. He says it is still too early to be concerned.
“Many people may want to watch the debate, many people may not have given it a thought. Give people a chance to think about it,” said Weaver. “The No campaign are running a campaign of fear which is a form of voter suppression.”
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