Richmond’s referendum ballot return among lowest in B.C.

Eligible B.C. voters have until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 to return their ballots.

With less than 24 hours to go in B.C.’s electoral reform referendum, Richmond’s ballot return is among the lowest in the province.

Currently, 29 per cent of Richmond North Centre voters have returned their ballots, with 28 per cent in both Richmond-Queensborough and Richmond South Centre. Richmond-Steveston has the highest number of returns in the city, with 37 per cent casting a vote.

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As an entire municipality, Richmond’s voter return is approximately 31 per cent. The provincial return rate is currently approximately at 40 per cent, with 35 per cent of the votes screened as of Thursday morning.

Some Richmond politicians have voiced that they don’t support proportional representation, including Coun. Chak Au.

“Residents need to understand that PR will confer power on people they have not directly elected but are appointed by their parties,” Au told the Richmond News in October.

“This is not the democracy that first past the post gives us.”

However one former Richmond councillor and MLA, Nick Loenen, said he supported proportional representation, calling it “a modern system for modern times.”

Eligible B.C. voters have until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 to return their ballots and Richmond residents can still vote on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lansdowne Centre.

In other parts of the Lower Mainland, Burnaby is also on the low-end of the ballot return spectrum, with approximately 30 per cent of voters participating, while Surrey has approximately 28 per cent of its ballots returned. The highest ballot return in the province is currently in Saanich North and the Islands where slightly more than 50 per cent of those eligible have voted. 

With files from Alan Campbell

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