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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: fire destroys Pitt Meadows outbuilding

Three RVs are write-offs following Saturday night blaze

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

SHARE: Pre-smoke the sunset illuminated the skies in Pitt Meadows

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read