Vancouver Island voters have some serious opinions when it comes to the electoral referendum, casting the most ballots to date of any municipalities in the province.
According to the daily report from Elections BC, Parksville-Qualicum, Saanich North and the Islands and Oak Bay-Gordon Head have the highest percentage of participation in the mail-in vote.
In Parksville, 44.7 per cent of registered voters have returned ballots, while in Saanich North and the Islands it is 41.3 per cent and in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, 37.5 per cent.
Trailing closely in fourth is Courtenay-Comox with 37.4 per cent of ballots returned.
Approximately 1,135,000 ballots have been returned from across the province or roughly 34 per cent.
Voters have been asked to evaluate the current electoral system and been given the choice to remain with the current first-past-the-post method or change to proportional representation.
The BC NDP and Green Party – collectively operating with a minority government – have run an aggressive campaign in favour of pro rep, while the BC Liberals are staunch defenders of the status quo.
Vancouver Island communities got a head start as their ballot packages arrived one week earlier (Oct. 24) than the rest of the B.C. (Nov. 2).
It remains to be seen if that played a significant role, if any, in voting numbers or if perhaps turnout falls along rural-urban lines.
In Nelson-Creston, 37.2 per cent of packages have been returned and at least 35 per cent of voters in Delta South, Kamloops, Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast have also cast ballots.
Last week Elections BC extended the Nov. 30 deadline to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 in light of how the Canada Post rotating strikes having impacted mail. If you have a ballot yet to be returned you can drop it at a Referendum Service Office or Service BC Centre.