The Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding could have a new MLA by the end of the night—or it could be too close to call.
Polls close for the provincial election at 8 p.m. tonight (Oct. 24), but voters might not have the full results for another two weeks.
“It’s really depending on the numbers,” explained Ann Chandler, the riding’s electoral officer.
Once the last voter has left the polls at 8 p.m., voting officials will close the doors and start to count ballots. There are 20 polling stations in the riding: six in the Alberni Valley, and one each in Bowser, Fanny Bay, Qualicum Beach, Coombs, Tofino, Ahousaht, Hot Springs Cove, Nitnat, Ucluelet, Bamfield, Cumberland, Royston, Denman and Hornby Islands
Supervisors will phone Elections BC with the results. But full election results will not be available until 13 days after the election, thanks to the need to count thousands of mail-in ballots by hand.
As of midnight on Friday, Oct. 23, Elections BC had issued more than 7,000 vote-by-mail packages to voters in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding. The total advance voting turnout for Mid Island-Pacific Rim was 9,501 voters. There are 44,869 registered voters in the riding.
“We’ve had quite a few vote at advance polls,” said Chandler on Thursday, Oct. 22. “We’re expecting voter turnout on Saturday to be steady.”
Voters who have received their vote-by-mail package but haven’t returned it yet can either drop the package off at any polling location or tear up the voting package and vote in person on Saturday.