The NDP’s Grace Lore has now been declared the winner of Victoria-Beacon Hill, according to the Canadian Press.
Preliminary results from 105 of 117 ballot boxes reporting, show Lore with 6,776 votes, followed by Green candidate Jenn Neilson with 4,611, Liberal Karen Bill with 1,926 and Independent candidate Jordan Reichert with 175.
Due to the large number of British Columbians who chose to vote by mail-in ballot this year, election results won’t be finalized until after they have been counted — sometime after Nov. 6.
Watching the results role in, Lore said she was extremely excited and optimistic that finalized results will be in her favour.
“It’s absolutely incredible to be stepping into what I think are the biggest shoes in the province,” she said, referring to Carole James who has been the NDP MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill for the last 15 years.
“Top of mind is how we navigate and get through this pandemic from a health perspective and economic perspective with a plan that works for everyone,” Lore added.
She said regardless of whether people voted for her or not, she is “honoured to be representing them.”
“Raising my kids here, I deeply love this community.”
Lore said it’s been a unique experience navigating an election during COVID-19, but looks forward to finding ways to ensure Victoria-Beacon Hill residents are addressed going forward.
“I have a lot of optimism for our ability to be nimble and creative,” she said.
“My kids are going to be so excited,” she added.
Reflecting on her campaign, Neilson said her focus has been on “building community” and “building bridges”. At 39 years old, she joked that all the older people running for the B.C. Green Party regard her as one of the young ones, while all the young people running for the party regard her as one of the old ones.
For Neilson, this has been representative of the focus of her campaign — to bridge gaps.
“This idea of being a person who can build bridges between generations and communities and people who have different political leanings, is really a powerful idea,” she said.
Neilson said her PhD in philosophy has also shaped her campaign. “What you learn when you study philosophy is how to construct an argument and how to listen to the reasons of other people and incorporate them into your own belief set.”
Regardless of results, Neilson emphasized that she will continue her work in the community.
|Karen Bill, B.C. Liberals, Victoria-Beacon Hill. (Courtesy of Karen Bill)|
Liberal candidate, Karen Bill, has not yet responded to a request for comment today.
Speaking with Black Press Media earlier this month, she said “the most important issues in Victoria-Beacon Hill right now are the rapidly increasing levels of homelessness and crime in our neighbourhoods and parks.”
Bill works as a policy analyst and researcher in Victoria.
|Independent candidate, Jordan Reichert, has been watching election results roll in from home. (Courtesy of Jordan Reichert)|
Watching election results come in, Independent candidate Jordan Reichert said although he may not get the most votes tonight, he feels his campaign has made a difference.
“I brought up some issues that wouldn’t have got attention from the other candidates and I consider that a success,” he said.
With his background advocating for animal rights, Reichert brought a unique lens to issues of climate change and housing. He said he wanted to emphasize the impact that animal agriculture is having on climate change and the effect a lack of housing has on pets.
Reflecting on his campaign, Reichert said his biggest take away has been the appreciation people have for candidates that speak authentically.
“It’s refreshing,” he said. “It’s really important to have representation for that in the legislature.”
Going forward, Reichert will continue in his role as deputy leader for the Animal Protection Party of Canada.
Early voting for the 2020 provincial election has broken records, according to data released by Elections BC Thursday (Oct. 22).
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. In Victoria-Beacon Hill 8,930 voters cast ballots during advanced voting this year.
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 18,363 mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within Victoria-Beacon Hill. There are 48,772 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.
In the 2017 provincial election, James cruised to victory in Victoria-Beacon Hill with 16,057 votes (53.05%), followed by Kalen Harris of the Greens with 9,194 (30.38%), Liberal Karen Bill with 4,689 (15.49%), Libertarian Art Lowe with 190 votes, Independent Jordan Reichert with 102 and Independent David Shebib at 35. Voter turnout for the riding was 64.2%, ahead of the provincial average of 61.2%.
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.
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