Reece Harman turned 18 on Oct. 14. Harman voted for the first time at Gordon Head middle school voting station on Saturday with mom Lynette. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Reece Harman turned 18 on Oct. 14. Harman voted for the first time at Gordon Head middle school voting station on Saturday with mom Lynette. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Early voting reduces election day turnout in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

The number of election day voters at polling stations in Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding is down.

That’s because the number of advanced voters, about 8,000, and mail-in votes, about 15,000, are through the roof.

By 5 p.m., supervisory elections officer Karen Garland at the Gordon Head middle school voting station was confident in calling Oct. 24 the slowest election day by far that she’s seen in three elections.

“The mail-in and advanced votes have significantly reduced today’s numbers,” Garland said. “The good thing is we have a big space, lots of room and it’s been very safe here.”

Voting at the Oak Bay high station was busy enough to force a queue in the early afternoon, but only briefly, said supervisory officer Supratim Sen.

“At one point people had to wait 20 minutes,” Sen said. “Otherwise it’s been steady. I worked the advanced polling at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Oct. 15 and 16 and we had 1,400 people, so there’s really been a push to vote early.”

Polls are open until 8 p.m.

Gordon Head middle school voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Murray Rankin of the NDP is looking to make a seamless switch from federal to provincial politics and be the first NDP MLA in Oak Bay-Gordon Head since Elizabeth Cull from 1991 to 1996. Oak Bay-Gordon Head is considered a swing seat that the NDP will need to earn a majority vote after former BC Green party leader Andrew Weaver stepped down and declined to run again.

Rankin is up against Green party successor Nicole Duncan (Green), Roxanne Helme (Liberal) and Florian Castle (Communist). Learn more about these candidates here.

Early voting for the 2020 provincial election has broken records, according to data released by Elections BC Thursday (Oct. 22).

In Oak Bay-Gordon Head, 8,651 people cast advance ballots this year.

About 37.5 per cent of Oak Bay-Gordon Head voters requested mail-in ballots this year. That’s 15,918 out of 42,385 registered voters, almost twice the provincial average of 20.7 per cent per riding.

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

It’s the mail-in ballots that will likely delay any definitive results on election night of Oct. 24.

Only Victoria-Beacon Hill has such a high percentage of mail-in ballots, with 37 per cent, or 18,363 of the 48,772 registered voters. Saanich South has 34 per cent (41,697 of 14,230) and Victoria-Swan Lake 32 per cent, or 12,978 of 40,590.

The agency said 681,055 people cast their ballot during seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017. In 2013, there were 366,558 people who voted in advance and 290,220 in 2009, with fewer yet in earlier elections.

What voters are saying

Reece Harman voted at the Gordon Head voting station for the first time in his life, having had his 18th birthday only 10 days ago.

“I had a lot of fun doing the research of who to vote for, it felt nice to have a choice of what our province will be like in the future, and it felt good getting to know who would lead our province,” Harman said. “Economic stances, clean energy stances, were the two big ones, and also policing and mental health awareness, are what I was looking at.”

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6, when those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within Oak Bay-Gordon Head. There are 42,385 registered voters in the riding.

Across B.C., a total of 724,279 mail-in ballots were returned to Elections BC, as of 11:59 p.m. Oct. 23. There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Historical look at Oak Bay-Gordon Head

In the 2017 provincial election, Weaver captured Oak Bay-Gordon Head with 15,257 votes (52.17 per cent), followed by Liberal Alex Dutton with 6,952 (23.77 per cent), the NDP’s Bryce Casavant with 6,912 (23.63 per cent), Jin Dong Yang-Riley of the Vancouver Island Party with 67 and Xaanja Ganja Free of 4BC with 58.

A total of 29,246 people cast a ballot in Oak Bay-Gordon Head in 2017, giving it a turnout of 72 per cent, well above the provincial average of 61.2 per cent.

Seven ridings encompass Greater Victoria with a grand total of 27 candidates vying for your vote.

In Saanich North and the Islands, Zeb King, Adam Olsen, and Stephen Roberts are vying for your vote. Learn more about these candidates here.

In Saanich South, Kate O’Connor, Lana Popham and Rishi Sharma are on the ballot. Find the latest on Saanich South here.

In Victoria-Swan Lake, Rob Fleming (NDP), Annemieke Holthuis (Green), David Somerville (Liberal), Walt Parsons, and Jenn Smith round out the ballot. Find the latest on Victoria-Swan Lake here.

In the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding – which also includes Colwood – Mitzi Dean (NDP), Andy MacKinnon (Green), Desta McPherson, and RJ Senko are facing off. Find the latest on Esquimalt-Metchosin here.

Grace Lore (NDP), Jenn Neilson (Green), Karen Bill (Liberal) and Jordan Reichert are running in Victoria-Beacon Hill. Find the latest on Victoria-Beacon Hill here.

In the West Shore’s other riding, Langford-Juan de Fuca, Gord Baird, Kelly Darwin, John Horgan, and Tyson Riel Strandlund are vying for the vote. Find the latest on Langford-Juan de Fuca here.

For more election coverage, go to vicnews.com/tag/bc-votes-2020.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Elections BC estimates that roughly 35 per cent of voters used mail-in ballots, which will be counted beginning on Nov. 6. This means that tonight’s election results may change.

ALSO READ: Here’s what you need to know to vote


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

The Victoria Police Department is seeking information on an assault that occurred in downtown Victoria on May 10. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police investigating downtown Victoria assault on youth

Witness also attacked after trying to intervene

Howard English Hatchery volunteer Joscilyn Jupp poured one of many buckets of salmon fry into Douglas Creek on May 11, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
35,000 salmon fry released in Saanich park during closed event

Chum from Goldstream Hatchery trucked in to restore Douglas Creek salmon spawning

Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. The Capital Regional District approved its regional parks mountain biking guidelines and a list of short-term actions at the CRD board’s May 12 meeting. (Black Press Media File Photo)
CRD approves mountain biking guidelines that drove spoke between advocates, environmentalists

Guidelines aim to find new biking opportunites in region, while protecting park ecology

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars returns to Victoria

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Ryan Cootes, Erin Bremner-Mitchell, Bill Collins and Mike Williamson of Cascadia Seaweed Corporation are here seen holding up seaweed grown in Barkley Sound in July 2020. The Sidney-based company has organized the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival running May 17 to May 23. (Cascadia Seaweed Corporation/Submitted)
Global expert touts seaweed to open inaugural Sidney festival

Vincent Doumeizel also points to barrier facing the emerging industry

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Most Read