Andrew Watson, Communications Manager with Elections BC, says absentee and mail-in ballots are being counted in what they call final count.
He says this process normally takes a few days, although he admits that it could take longer this time as there were a lot more people voting this way in this provincial election…
“For Cariboo North there are approximately 2,000, and for Cariboo-Chilcotin there are around 28-hundred. Across the province we’re looking at around 660 thousand absentee or mail-in ballots being counted through this process, and that’s a really significant increase over 2017 when about 200 thousand went through the final count process.”
Watson says in BC, voters can vote anywhere in the province and they can also drop off their mail-in ballots anywhere in BC, so he says the first step was for return all of those ballots to the voter’s district of residence…
“Once they are there the election officials in that district screen them for compliance with the legislation and also do a check that multiple voting hasn’t occurred, you know that someone hasn’t tried to vote on election day and also cast a mail-in ballot, so that preparatory phase has been ongoing since the 24th.”
That brings us to today…
“It is a bit different than what happened on election night because the absentee and mail-in ballots are still in a certification envelope that has the voter’s information on it, and then a secrecy envelope or a secrecy sleeve within that. There is a process by which the officials will actually separate the actual ballot from those two pieces in a way that preserves the secrecy of the vote, and then they’ll start counting the ballots itself, so it does take longer.”
Results will be available on the Elections BC website.
The won’t have an impact on the outcome here in the Cariboo however as Coralee Oakes and Lorne Doerkson, both BC Liberal candidates, had healthy leads after election day.
Oakes was up, according to preliminary numbers, by more than 15-hundred votes on the NDP’s Scott Elliott, and Doerkson was up by nearly 21-hundred votes over NDP candidate Scott Andrews.