Former Liberal MLAs Doug Bing, second from left, and Marc Dalton, second from right, oppose moving to proportional representation. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge voters have had their say on how they vote

Friday was last day for mail-in ballots on PR

More people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows filled out the mail-in ballots and mailed them in, so they have a say in B.C.’s electoral system.

As of Thursday morning, 14,218 valid ballots have been returned from voters in Maple Ridge-Mission, which is a turnout of about 32 per cent.

In Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, the numbers are almost the same, with 14,312 ballots received by Elections B.C., resulting in a turnout of about 34 per cent.

Friday was the deadline day, by which ballots had to be received by Elections B.C. in order to be counted in the referendum that asks people if they want to keep the current first-past-the-post system, where the candidate with the largest number of votes wins a riding, or if voters want to move to one of three proportional voting systems.

NDP and Liberal politicians had both been door knocking, for and against, respectively, changing electoral systems.

Interest in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows was lagging three weeks ago, in mid-November, when only 6.5 per cent of eligible voters had sent in a ballot.

Provincewide, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are near the provincial average turnout of 35 per cent of eligible voters, as of Thursday morning.

Former Maple Ridge council candidate Peter Tam, with FairVote B.C., which supports proportional representation, said the turn out percentage in the referendum shouldn’t affect the end result.

He said earlier that only a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one, is needed for the government to change the electoral system.

“We’re keeping our finger crossed, across B.C. today,” he said Friday.

He expects the ballots remaining in the mail and those that were hand-delivered today at Service B.C. centres to add another eight per cent to the turnout.

“It’s going to be neck and neck, the results,” he said.

It’s also become a partisan exercise between the NDP and Liberals and is also being held at the wrong time of the year, Tam said.

Just Posted

Night for Noah charity game Saturday

Event honours Noah Trulsen, who died while playing hockey last year

Man who once killed a fellow inmate convicted of threatening guard at Kent

No prison time for threat nine years after MMA-style beating death in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge OKs mixed-use plan for Albion flats

Ideas for east side of Jim Robson Way

Maple Ridge charity filling shoeboxes with love

Boxes will be donated to children in West Africa and Latin America

Friends in Need Food Bank doing seniors outreach

New food bank days in Maple Ridge and soon Pitt Meadows

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Vancouver police officer charged with sexual assault in apparent off-duty incident

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

VIDEO: Surrey mayor decries ‘alarming frequency’ of ‘mob violence’ after another brawl

Surrey RCMP urge the public to come forward with information about those involved

CN Rail confirms job cuts as weakening economy cuts into freight volumes

Railroad also said it was affected by a slowdown in the B.C.’s forestry sector

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read