Advanced voting numbers are up across the region.
In Saanich, 2,660 individuals cast advanced ballots at Saanich Municipal Hall and Commonwealth Place during the second of three opportunities for advanced voting before the Oct. 20 election.
In a nod to pop culture, the District announced its numbers with a Top Gun tweet.
A big high five to all 2,660 of you who came out to vote yesterday. More advance voting tomorrow and election day is this Saturday! We'll have 2 advance voting locations and 17 polling stations on Oct 20. #Saanichvotes #Saanich pic.twitter.com/AHA5UlczJk
— District of Saanich (@saanich) October 16, 2018
The first advanced voting opportunity on Oct. 10 drew 1,514 voters. These two figures mean that 4,174 voters have cast their ballots so far — 95 voters short of the total in 2014, when 4,269 Saanich residents voted early. With one more advanced voting opportunity scheduled for Oct. 17, it is highly likely that Saanich will exceed its 2014 total.
The picture appears comparable in Victoria, where 2,182 voters cast early ballots at Victoria City Hall during that city’s third round of advanced voting.
Overall, 4,052 Victoria voters have already cast their ballots, with one more voting opportunity available on Oct. 17. Not counting mail ballots, 3,144 Victoria voters cast early ballots in 2014 in four advanced ballots.
This means Victoria has already well exceeded that its total advanced vote in 2018 when compared to 2014.
Voters in both Victoria and Saanich will be able to cast advanced ballots at the University of Victoria Student Union Building from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.
Advance Polling 8am-6pm in the SUB on Wednesday!✔️🗳
Do you live in Saanich, Victoria, or Oak Bay? Come VOTE for your mayoral & council candidates on @uvic campus!
–#BCElections #advancepolling #govote #VOTE #bc #uvss #uvic #yyj #victoria #yourvotecounts #2018 @UVicCampusLife pic.twitter.com/BxW82FruAU
— UVSS (@UVSS) October 15, 2018
Saanich residents can also cast advanced votes on Oct. 17 at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre.
These figures are not insignificant, when considering in 2014, 28,517 people voted in Saanich or 34.7 of eligible voters.
If turnout in 2018 approaches turnout in 2014, it means that almost 15 per cent of the final vote is already off the board — read: unavailable — with another advanced voting opportunity coming up.
Candidates, of course, can continue to choke up voters by mobilizing previous voters, who have not voted yet, or eligible voters, who did not vote in 2014.
But time is becoming of the essence. General election day — Oct. 20 — is four days away, and votes in the ballot box now are better than votes not yet cast.
A complete list of advanced voting locations can be found on your local Black Press website.