Friday, October 23, 2020

Advance Polls show varying levels of interest in 2020 Provincial election across Northwest

With the Advance polling opportunities coming to an end earlier this week, Elections BC has now released some background on the participation of voters in the options prior to tomorrows General Voting Day.

And the results from the four Northwest ridings make for an interesting glimpse into the varying levels of interest that the four election campaigns seem to have generated

For the North Coast, the use of the Advance poll seems somewhat light, with 15,471 eligible voters noted for the constituency, only 2,468 took advantage of the vote early option.

Stikine had similar returns as the North Coast, with 2,708 of 14,250 voters heading out early to cast a ballot.

Skeena has seemingly generated the most interest in the advance vote option, as of the final day, 4,976 of  the 21,262 eligible Skeena voters had voted early

An indication perhaps as to why that riding is one of the key ridings in the province to watch on Saturday night.

The voters of Nechako Lakes were the least likely to vote in advance with only 1,539 of that riding's 17,418 voters casting an early ballot.

The other option that has caught the attention of voters this  election has been the Mail in Ballot opportunity, and there again the requests for mail in ballots had a range of response across the Northwest

Skeena -- 1,765 Vote by Mail Packages issued
Stikine -- 1,234 Vote by Mail Packages issued 
Nechacko Lakes -- 1,151 Vote by mail packages issued
North Coast -- 917 Vote by mail packages issued

For those who have requested the Vote by Mail option, Elections BC notes that for the votes to count they need to be in the hands of election officials by the close of the polls on Saturday.

So with the mailing deadline past us now, they offer the following advice.

After October 17, Elections BC recommends voters return their completed package in person at any designated drop-off location. Designated drop-off locations include district electoral offices, voting places during voting hours, and some Service BC locations.

As for the twin results of the advance vote options and mail in ballot, combined the two guideposts to voter turnout seem to point to two ridings to watch for any downward trends. 

With the North Coast and Nechako Lakes perhaps the areas of note when it comes to turn out at the polls.

In the 2017 General Election the final results provided for vote totals as follows:

Stikine -- 9,175 of 13,985 Registered Voters
65.61% participation

Skeena -- 13,040 of 20,779 Registered Voters  
62.76% participation

North Coast -- 9,193 of 15,030 Registered Voters  
61.16% participation

Nechako Lakes -- 9,825 of 16,637 Registered Voters   
59.06% participation

How well the candidates have engaged with the voters in 2020 in the four ridings of the Northwest will provide for a fascinating look as to whether this years voter turnout increases, decreases or mirrors the results of 2017.

In Prince Rupert, Saturday's General Vote will take place at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

You can find out where to vote in your community through the Elections BC Vote Locator Map here.

For a look back at some of the themes of this years campaign see our archive page here.

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