The Ups and Downs of Voter Turnout

Trent Ernst, Editor

Last election, the BC Peace had the worst turnout of any area in the province.

The two electoral districts that make up the Peace Region—South and North—ranked in the top three worst voter turnout of the last election, with Peace River South placing third and Peace River North placing first of the worst.

Heading into the current election, Voter turnout looked to be on the rise, with a record number of people voting in advanced polls, about 380,000.

Province-wide, there were 3.15 million eligible voters, with 1.62 million showing up to vote.

However, with only 52 percent of British Columbians showing up to vote, BC retains its position of second worst turnout of any province It’s also the second worst voter turnout ever in BC, only slightly better than last election’s 50 percent.

That election played out similar to this one, with a record number of advance voters giving way to low turnout on actual election day.

In the Peace, more people voted this election than last, with 8,415 people exercising their democratic rights in this election in the South Peace

While that is up from the 7,611 people who voted in the previous election, there are more eligible voters, too. Still, both the North and South Peace saw voter turnout increase, reversing the general downward trend.

In the South, turnout rose from 38 per cent to 46.5 percent, up 8.5 percent. The North Peace saw an even larger reversal of fortunes, where the percentage of people who turned out increased by about 15.5 per cent over the 2009 election.

In 2009, Peace River North had the worst voter turnout of anywhere across the province.

Despite the reversal of trend, the turnout was still below the provincial average.

Peace River South was 3.7 percent lower, while Peace River North was 4.7 percent lower.