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

The deadline has passed to cast a ballot for or against electoral reform in B.C. and overall, Richmond’s ballot return remains one of the lowest in the province.

As of Monday, Dec. 10, 30 per cent of Richmond South Centre voters have returned their ballots, with 31 per cent in both Richmond-Queensborough and Richmond North Centre. Richmond-Steveston has the highest number of returns in the city, with 40 per cent casting a vote.

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As an entire municipality, Richmond’s voter return is approximately 33 per cent. The provincial return rate is currently approximately at 41 per cent. However, ballots received by Canada Post but not yet transferred to Elections BC are not included in these figures and only 38 per cent of the votes have been screened so far.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.”

In other parts of the Lower Mainland, Surrey-Whalley has the lowest percentage of ballots returned in the province at 23 per cent. The highest ballot return in the province is currently in Saanich North and the Islands where slightly more than 53 per cent of those eligible have voted. 

After multiple deadline extensions, eligible B.C. voters had until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 to return their ballots. Elections BC told the Richmond News that this is the last update to its estimate of the number of ballots returned. The next update will be when results are reported, which could be before Christmas.

With files from Maria Rantanen


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