Surrey-Whalley has B.C.-worst ballot return rate in referendum on electoral reform

As of Monday morning (Dec. 10), 1,361,000 packages estimated to have been received by Elections BC

* This story has been updated

Residents in two Surrey ridings were slow to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform – slowest in the province, in fact.

With mail-in ballots due Friday (Dec. 4), voters in Surrey-Green Timbers and Surrey-Whalley returned the fewest ballots, based on a percentage of those registered.

In Green Timbers, as of Monday morning (Dec. 10), 6,851 ballots had been screened by Elections BC in a riding of 28,206 registered voters, or 24.3 per cent.

It’s a similar story in Whalley, from which 8,185 ballots had been screened among the riding’s 35,337 voters – just 23.2 per cent, the lowest return rate in all of B.C.

• RELATED: How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform.

As of 8:20 a.m. on Dec. 10, 1,361,000 packages are estimated to have been received by Elections BC, which reflects approximately 41 per cent returned.

“This does not include packages that have been received by Canada Post but not yet transferred to Elections BC,” notes a post at elections.bc.ca. “Late packages received after the close of voting on December 7 are not included.”

It will likely take several weeks before Elections BC has a final result in the referendum.

The highest rate of return is 53.2 per cent in the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, home to 48,668 registered voters.

Of the nine Surrey-area ridings, Surrey-White Rock has the best rate of return, at 45 per cent.

The other ridings are Surrey-Cloverdale (33.4 per cent), Surrey-Fleetwood (28.8), Surrey-Guildford (27.4), Surrey-Newton (26.7), Surrey-Panorama (28.6) and Surrey South (35.6).

Updated numbers are posted to the elections.bc.ca website.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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