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October 22, 2018, 4:01 pm

Municipal Voter Turnout Rates Nearly Unchanged from 2014

CivicInfo BC
VICTORIA - Based on numbers provided by Chief Election Officers from across the province, CivicInfo BC wishes to announce that the estimated eligible voter turnout for the 2018 British Columbia Municipal Elections was 35.6%.

This figure – which includes only municipalities, and does not include regional districts, school boards, and other local bodies – is up only slightly from the 2014 election when the turnout was estimated to be 34.5%.

Voter turnout was often highest in smaller communities with Wells, Canal Flats, New Denver, Belcarra, Stewart, and Tahsis all reporting turnout rates of over of 70%.  While Tahsis shows the highest turnout in the province at 90%, it should also be noted that the margin of error for such a calculation is considerable when population figures are in the hundreds.

Also noteworthy are high turnout rates in several of British Columbia’s mid-size communities, including Bowen Island (67.4%), Fernie (63.7%), and Qualicum Beach (58.9%).

In Vancouver, the estimated eligible voter turnout was 39.4%, with the City recording a registered voter turnout rate of 40.2%.  Vancouver’s election was, by far, the largest municipal contest in the province and a total of 176,744 ballots were cast.

In the coming days, CivicInfo BC will also be stating estimated voter turnout figures for regional district electoral areas. 

About these figures:
  • Only incorporated municipalities are included in these calculations. Regional districts, school districts, and other local bodies are not included.
  • The number of estimated eligible voters for each jurisdiction was calculated based on 2016 census data, statistics from the Province of British Columbia, and information provided by local election officials.  Individuals who are under the age of 18, those who are not Canadian citizens are not included in the number.
  • For province-wide consistency, CivicInfo BC states the turnout as a percentage of estimated eligible voters, and not as a percentage of registered voters.  Some local governments may choose to state their registered voter turnout figures as well, however these figures will be higher than eligible voter turnout numbers, because not everyone who is eligible registers to vote.
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