Elections BC has provided further details into the vast number of British Columbians who have requested vote by mail packages.
To date, 2,365 vote by mail packages have been requested by voters in Fraser-Nicola.
That represents 11.2% of eligible voters in the riding.
Those figures could easily lead to results being delayed, as back in 2017, Liberal Jackie Tegart won the seat by just over 500 votes.
Should the election be too close to call on election night, the absentee ballots would need to be confirmed and counted during final count, which doesn’t begin until at least 13 days following the election.
As of October 9, Elections BC announced that approximately 650,000 vote by mail packages had been requested for the upcoming provincial election.
For comparison, during the 2017 election, around 11,000 vote by mail packages were requested and 6,500 were actually returned to Elections BC.
The sheer bulk of potential vote by mail or absentee ballots could result in the election results being delayed by weeks.
“We have final count, which is the count of all absentee ballots which can not begin until a minimum of 13 days after election day. This is when all absentee ballots, including vote by mail ballots, are counted,” said Anton Boegman from Elections BC.
“If there are a significant number of absentee ballots, preparation time before final count may take longer,” added Boegman.
Boegman could not offer specifics because the final number of absentee ballots is still unknown.
The time taken to count the ballots is to ensure that nobody has voted twice and to confirm the voter is eligible.
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