ELECTION 2013: Advance voters coming out in droves
I decided to vote early for the first time. I was not planning to. Until today, I felt it was more exciting to vote on election day, to participate with the the bulk of registered voters in B.C. But, I had some free time Saturday afternoon and I decided to make it a family occasion.
At my polling station, I had expected to see a trickle of voters. Instead, I was lining up just as I would have on election day. As I waited to get my ballot, I saw a huge stack of yellow voter cards. I asked the voting officer if those were just from today. She sighed and said, "It's been very busy." That got me curious and I got home to see whether it has been busier than in the past. So far, it has.
According to Elections BC, advance voter turnout has steadily increased with each successive provincial election.
It turns out 2013 has continued the trend. Nearly 381,000 voters cast their ballot early this year, up 28% from the 298,000 advance voters in 2009. For all four days, turnout was higher in 2013: 28% higher on the first day compared to the first advance voting day in 2009, 26% higher on the second day, 20% higher on the third day, and 36% higher on the last day.
Advance voter turnout was highest on Vancouver Island with the highest turnout in Saanich North and the Islands (18.8% of registered voters), Parksville-Qualicum (18.7%) and Oak Bay-Gordon Head (17.3%).
The full table of turn out by riding is available here.
While advance turnout was highest on the Island, many ridings in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley saw advance voter turnout jump, nearly doubling in Abbotsford South (+83.9%), jumping 64.8% in Vancouver-Kingsway, 55.9% in Victoria-Beacon Hill, and 55.1% in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
The full table comparing advance voting turnout by riding between 2009 and 2013 is available here.