As of October 18, approximately 235,800 people had sent mail-in ballots to BC headquarters for the regional election. There are more than 490,000 additional vote-by-mail packages May be returned on Election Day on October 24 by the time of counting.
Overall, this is more than 20 percent of the registered voters in BC – it is likely to take weeks until the final result of the election is known.
“It’s absolutely unprecedented,” said Andrew Watson, BC’s spokeswoman.
“It’s a really, really significant increase. But to some extent we’re ated.”
Here’s why all those votes aren’t counted until November and how they affect election night.
Preventing voter fraud
As in previous elections, BC elections will be held 13 days after the general voting day to count mail-in ballots.
According to Watson, how long will it take to verify those ballots.
“Voters can return their mail-in ballots anywhere in the province. We will send mail-in ballots back to voter districts after election day, and they will go through several screening steps to ensure multiple voting takes place,” he said. .
“This is actually a very important part of ensuring the integrity of our system in BC”
Elections BC revealed how many ballots were requested in each riding from 18,363 in Victoria-Beacon Hill to just 813 in Peace River South.
But the exact number of returnees in each riding is unknown by election day.
“We know this will definitely be of interest to the public … and we will deliver as soon as possible after election day,” Watson said.
“But the exact time depends on how many ballots we get until the deadline and how fast we get back to the district where the voter lives.”
Most readings are not close
Will the matter come up on October 24, a few hours after the election?
The short answer is, it depends. If the result looks like 2017, When the NDP and the Liberals are neck and neck near the electiont, mail-in ballots may have different readings that differ.
“The full picture of the election results will not be known until the final count of absentee ballots is complete,” Watson said.
However, even in 2017, only six rides in BC were decided by less than a thousand votes. Even with all the extra mail-in ballots in this election, many races are likely to be called on election night – Polls showing NDP dominance in particular are accurate.
In other words, if the results are as close as they can be in 2017, there may be enough seats in the mail-in count to decide who will form the government.
If it’s more like a BC election, all those mail-in ballots will be an epilogue to the election rather than a climax.