How many votes will be outstanding as of tonight? And which are the most ‘outstanding’ ridings? As of midnight Election Eve, almost 500,000 vote-by-mail ballots had been received with more coming today. Elections BC confirmed that representatives are stationed at the Canada Post sorting facility on Sea Island, ready to collect all available ballots before 8pm PT.
(Just wondering, is it just one guy in a 1991 Toyota Corolla picking up the ballots, and throwing them in the trunk of his car, or is there like a super secret Elections BC Swat team with laser guns, defending democracy against any external threat?)
It’s not just mail ballots either, there are also special voting ballots, absentee voting in and out of electoral district, absentee advance voting, and alternative absentee voting (in DEO office). Last election, those categories added up to over 173,000 votes cast. So, this time we can expect at least 600,000 more ballots to be counted after Election Night (500,000+ mail and 100,000+ absentee).
Which are the most ‘outstanding’ ridings? The other day, I posted about the ‘early birds’ – those voting in advance polls or by mail. Advance poll votes are counted tonight. Mail plus the categories listed above will be counted in November as part of the final count.
I was interested to know which ridings will have the most ballots to be counted as a percentage of ‘expected voters’. I calculated this by taking the current number of registered voters (7% higher compared to 2017) and multiplying it by the turnout percentage per riding from 2017. This is imperfect, but does help estimate how many will show up to vote this time if turnout rate is consistent per riding (it was 61% across BC in 2017, but ranged from a high of 74% in Saanich North & the Islands to a low of 47% in Richmond South Centre).
The ridings with the highest number of outstanding mail ballots will make November a bit more interesting, less certain, and a lot more nerve-wracking in ridings where there is a close race. The lower the number, the more certain one can be on Election Night about the final outcome.
My estimates of the proportion of outstanding ballots (vote-by-mail only) as as a percentage of the estimated number of voters per riding:
|Riding||Mail as % of expected votes |
cast per riding
|Victoria Beacon Hill||42%|
|Oak Bay Gordon Head||37%|
|Vancouver False Creek||36%|
|Victoria Swan Lake||35%|
|Vancouver Pt. Grey||34%|
|Vancouver West End||32%|
|Saanich North & Islands||31%|
|Vancouver Mt Pleasant||30%|
|Port Moody Coquitlam||30%|
|Langford-Juan de Fuca||29%|
|North Van Seymour||29%|
|West Van Capilano||28%|
|Richmond South Centre||27%|
|Surrey White Rock||27%|
|Richmond North Centre||26%|
|Coquitlam Burke Mtn||26%|
|North Van Lonsdale||25%|
|Kelowna Lake Country||25%|
|Burnaby Deer Lake||24%|
|Maple Ridge Mission||22%|
|Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows||22%|
|Kamloops North Thompson||21%|
|West Van Sea to Sky||21%|
|Powell River Sunshine Coast||21%|
|Mid Island-Pacific Rim||19%|
|Surrey Green Timbers||18%|
|Columbia River Revelstoke||14%|
|Kamloops South Thompson||14%|
|Provincial average |
(vote-by-mail as % of expected voters )
Remember, I didn’t account for the other absentee and special ballots in this table so you can probably add about 5%, conservatively, to the number of outstanding provincial ballots. In Oak Bay-Gordon Head last election, there were over 2,400 absentee and special ballots (not counting mail) and in Courtenay-Comox there were almost 2,000, which happened to decide the outcome of government.
When you at your own personal Decision Desk tonight ready to ‘call it’, you might want to check my chart.