Almost 90 per cent of the mail-in ballots issued in Delta North are in the hands of local election officials for the final count set to begin on Friday.
On Thursday (Oct. 29), Elections BC released a progress report noting the number number of certification envelopes containing absentee or mail-in ballots that each electoral district has received so far. The report, which was since been updated, notes it does not show the final number of absentee and mail-in ballots per district.
During preparations for final count, which gets underway on Friday, Nov. 6 and is expected to take at least three days, certification envelopes containing absentee or mail-in ballots are sent from wherever they were cast or received to the voter’s district of residence. Once there, all vote-by-mail packages are screened for compliance with the Election Act before being accepted for counting.
A total of 6,967 vote-by-mail packages were issued in Delta North, representing just over 18 per cent of the 37,998 registered voters in the riding. As of Wednesday (Nov. 4), 6,222 certification envelopes had been received by officials in the riding.
In Delta South, 8,673 vote-by-mail packages were issued, representing a bit over 23 per cent of the 37,039 registered voters in the riding. Election officials there had received 8,412 envelopes as of Wednesday.
Based on preliminary results on election night, BC NDP incumbent Ravi Kahlon has won the race in Delta North with 8,486 votes (55.2 per cent of the popular vote) over BC Liberal Jet Sunner (5,356 votes) and Green Neema Manral (1,520 votes).
In Delta South, BC Liberal incumbent Ian Paton is the preliminary winner with 8,644 votes (52.4 per cent of the popular vote) over BC NDP candidate Bruce Reid (5,358 votes) and Green Peter van der Velden (2,487 votes).
While half a million-plus mail-in ballots are yet to be counted, preliminary election night results give the NDP a majority government with 55 seats, a 14-seat gain over 2017. The BC Liberals received 29 seats, a 12-seat drop since 2017, while the BC Greens won three, same as in 2017.
As of the 8 p.m. deadline on Oct. 24, Elections BC had received approximately 525,000 vote-by-mail voting packages, not including any vote-by-mail packages that had been dropped off at district electoral offices or at voting places. As well, there were also an estimated 85,000 certification envelopes containing absentee ballots cast across the province.
A total of 724,279 registered voters in B.C. were issued a vote-by-mail package. As Wednesday, 662,636 certification envelopes have made their way to their respective ridings for screening and counting.
— with files from Katya Slepian