Elections BC has started crunching the numbers from the 2020 provincial election, and estimates that at least 52.4 per cent of registered voters cast a vote.
This is down from the 2017 provincial election, when 61.18 per cent of registered voters cast a ballot.
Preliminary estimates of voter turnout are based on the following:
· the number of voters who voted during advance voting, in their electoral district;
· the number of voters who voted on election day, at their assigned voting place;
· an estimate of the number of certification envelopes containing absentee ballots, to be considered at final count; and
· an estimate of the number of completed vote-by-mail packages containing mail-in ballots, to be considered at final count.
More people voted in their electoral district during the advance voting period (670,324 voters) than at their assigned voting place on election day, Oct. 24 (546,877 voters).
An estimated 85,000 certification envelopes containing absentee ballots will be considered for final count. These ballots were cast at absentee voting opportunities during advance voting, on Election Day, and throughout the campaign period (at voting opportunities such as voting at a district electoral office or a special voting opportunity).
As of Oct. 24, Elections BC had received approximately 525,000 mail-in ballots, though this figure does not include mail-in ballots returned by voters in person to voting places or district electoral offices before the deadline of 8 p.m. Pacific time on Oct. 24. The preliminary estimate of voter turnout will likely increase when mail-in ballots dropped off in person are accounted for.
Absentee and mail-in ballots will be delivered to their appropriate electoral district for counting, which begins on Nov. 6. Normally, Elections BC releases the tally of these votes once they have all been counted. However, due to the volume of mail-in ballots to be vetted and counted, the result of each day’s counting will be released that day, with updated vote counts for each riding, until the process is complete.
As of Sept. 26, there were 3,485,858 registered voters in B.C. In the 2017 provincial election there were 1,986,374 valid votes. The number of valid votes in 2020 could be around 1.8 million. However, the number of registered voters has increased since 2017, resulting in a lower percentage of registered voters voting.
Elections BC will publish an updated figure for voter turnout once more accurate figures are available.