15% of transit plebiscite ballots returned so far

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Elections B.C.

Elections B.C. has released its third update on the number of Metro Vancouver residents who have returned their transit plebiscite ballots.

As of April 15, during the first four weeks of voting, 15 per cent or 235,354 ballots were returned and counted by the elections office.

All jurisdictions participating in the plebiscite are reporting results. Here is a full breakdown:

  • City of Burnaby: 13.4% – 19,363 of 144,075
  • City of Coquitlam: 14.1% – 12,204 of 86,327
  • City of Langley: 6.5% – 1,131 of 17,439
  • City of Maple Ridge: 11.6% – 6,268 of 54,230
  • City of New Westminster: 4.4% – 1,996 of 45,677
  • City of North Vancouver: 11.7% – 3,999 of 34,171
  • City of Pitt Meadows: 5.2% – 671 of 12,826
  • City of Port Coquitlam: 12.0% – 4,624 of 38,636
  • City of Port Moody: 4.6% – 1,030 of 22,501
  • City of Richmond: 12.4% – 15,459 of 124,455
  • City of Surrey: 14.1% – 41,542 of 294,558
  • City of Vancouver: 23.4% – 97,208 of 415,919
  • City of White Rock: 15.9% – 2,438 of 15,358
  • Corporation of Delta: 8.2% – 5,660 of 68,922
  • District of North Vancouver: 14.8% – 8,975 of 60,495
  • District of West Vancouver: 12.0% – 3,600 of 30,067
  • Metro Vancouver Electoral Area A: 7.8% – 494 of 6,353
  • Township of Langley: 11.0% – 8,497 of 77,545
  • Tsawwassen First Nation: 6.4% – 33 of 512
  • Village of Anmore: 4.2% – 64 of 1,518
  • Village of Belcarra: 1.8% – 9 of 503
  • Village of Lions Bay: 2.1% – 22 of 1,068

As expected, areas that are more urbanized and possess a higher level of transit usage have a greater rate of ballot returns. This is particularly the case for the City of Vancouver, which has a return rate more than 8 points higher than the regional average.

During the first two weeks of voting, just four per cent of eligible voters returned their ballots. By the end of the third week, the figure doubled to 8 per cent or 63,663 ballots.

In total, over 1.55 million residents across the region’s 23 municipal jurisdictions are registered to vote in the plebiscite. Eligible voters who have not received their ballots in the mail have until May 15 to register to vote and request for a ballot package.

Completed ballots must be returned to Elections B.C. no later than midnight on May 29 in order to be counted. A total of nine plebiscite service offices have opened at the region’s shopping malls to assist voters with registration and ballot return.

SkyTrain Public Transit Canada Line / Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: How to vote in the Metro Vancouver Transit Plebiscite, beginning March 16

The ballot question asks voters to approve a 0.5 per cent regional increase in the provincial sales tax (from 7.0 to 7.5%) to help fund the Mayors’ Council’s $7.5 billion, 10-year plan for transportation improvements.

This includes an underground extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line along Broadway, a light rail transit network in Surrey, a new seismically safe Pattullo Bridge, improved night bus service, the use of a third SeaBus and a significant increase in bus network frequency, including the introduction of 11 new B-Line rapid bus routes.

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