Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters already casting their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters already casting their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

More than 10,000 voters have cast advance ballots in Saanich North and Islands

Only two ridings, one of them on Vancouver Island, have seen more advance voting

Almost 20 per cent of voters in Saanich North and the Islands have already cast their ballots in advance voting.

As of Oct. 20, 10,174 out of 50,488 eligible voters in the riding cast their ballots during advance voting, which started Oct. 15 and wraps up Oct. 21.

Only two ridings have seen more advance voters. Parksville-Qualicum with 10,722 and Penticton with 10,230. Notably, all three ridings are among the oldest in the province. Parksville-Qualicum is the oldest with a median age of 56.4 according to the 2011 Census, while Penticton’s median age was 50.5 in 2011, and Saanich North and the Islands had a median age of 53.1.

RELATED: Greater Victoria ridings among top regions seeking mail-in ballots

These figure broadly align with the observation that COVID-19 has encouraged vulnerable parts of the population (including seniors, who also happen to be among the most committed group of voters) to cast their ballots early through alternative means to avoid large crowds on general election day.

A total of 564,951 British Columbians, some 16.2 per cent of eligible voters, have already voted in advanced voting.

Elections BC has also already received at least 347,900 mail-in voting packages returned as of Oct. 20, about 48 per cent of the total vote-by-mail ballots issued. These figures mean that at least 26 per cent of eligible voters have already cast a ballot in B.C.’s upcoming election.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com