More than 100 White Rock residents cast their votes for the city’s next council member on Wednesday, the first of two advance-voting dates for the upcoming byelection.
In all, city officials logged 136 voters at the polls, which were open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 24 at the White Rock Community Centre. Three voters were waiting at the door when staff arrived, city clerk Tracey Arthur said.
The total number counted is just over half of the 240 voters seen on the first day of advanced polling in the city’s 2009 byelection, held to replace veteran councillor James Coleridge following his unseating by the B.C. Supreme Court.
The next – and last – advanced-poll date prior to the Nov. 3 byelection is set for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 30) at the community centre, located at 15154 Russell Ave.
Voters have a chance to hear straight from council hopefuls Tuesday night, 7-9 p.m., during an all-candidates meeting at White Rock Elementary (1273 Fir St.). Nine people are vying for the one seat: (in the order they appear on the ballot) Pat Petrala, David Chesney, Bill Lawrence, Scott Kristjanson, Tom Willman, Grant O’Kane, Bruce McWilliam, Megan Knight and Graham Wood.
The byelection was called following the June 26 death of longtime councillor Mary-Wade Anderson.
Arthur said a mail-out was done this week to remind residents of the upcoming voting opportunities, in the hopes of boosting turnout.
Typically, voter turnout is lower for byelections. In the 2009 byelection that won Coun. Grant Meyer his first seat on council, turnout was just 16 per cent.