(Black Press)

Voter turnout hits 60 per cent in 2017 B.C. election

Over half of B.C. voters went to the polls on May 9

Voter turnout in B.C. hit 60 per cent for the first time since 2005, according to Elections BC data released Thursday. The count is only a preliminary one – final absentee voter numbers won’t be released until May 24.

The number of British Columbians who vote in provincial elections has been on the decline since the early 1990s. Turnout hit a low in 2009, when only 55 per cent of registered voters made it out to the polls, and rose slightly to 57 per cent in 2013. Overall voter turnout may have been buoyed by a record number of advanced votes, as over 600,000 B.C. residents cast their ballots during advance polls.

On a per riding basis, Saanich North and the Islands, Delta South, Parksville­-Qualicum and Oak Bay-­Gordon Head had over two-thirds voter turnout on election day. On the flip side, less than half the registered voters in Richmond South Centre, Richmond North Centre, Surrey­-Whalley, Peace River South, Vancouver-­Kingsway, Burnaby­-Deer Lake, Burnaby­- Edmonds and Kelowna­-Lake Country made it out to the polls on election day.

The stats below, from Elections BC, do not include advanced voting, absentee ballots, rejected ballots or count those registered after April 11.