An early look at what could be a significant increase in federal voting participation.
According to Elections Canada, the Tri-Cities collectively recorded a 25 per cent increase in advance polling for the 2021 federal election compared to 2019.
This year, the organization hosted early voting stations for four consecutive days between Sept. 10 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
In Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, a total of 18,325 eligible residents already decided who they wanted to support in the campaign — a 28 per cent uptick compared to 14,318 two years ago.
Its neighbour to west, Port Moody-Coquitlam, combined for a 22 per cent increase this year with 17,460 voters casting their ballot early. There were also 14,318 advance voters in that riding in 2019.
"I want to thank the electors who took advantage of advance polls for their patience and their help in making this a safe experience for everyone," said Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault in a news release.
"I also want to thank the tens of thousands of election workers for making this possible. Canadians still have the opportunity to contribute to this great democratic exercise by voting on election day or by returning their special ballot before the Sept. 20 deadline."
In B.C., 804,116 cast their ballot early this year compared to 710,107 in 2019 — a 13 per cent increase.
Across the country, Elections Canada estimates nearly 5.8 million eligible voters went to advance polling stations over that four-day period, which is a 18.46 per cent increase from 2019's federal election.
Tri-City residents who did not cast a ballot during the advance voting process, register for a mail-in ballot or request to vote at an Elections Canada office can now only vote on election day Monday (Sept. 20). Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you requested a vote-by-mail kit or Elections Canada special ballot, you must send it back or drop it off at a polling station on Monday and can not vote by any other method.
STUDENT VOTE 2021
Additionally, 52 schools across the Tri-Cities are set to get their 32,000 students involved in the political process by participating in the Student Vote Canada program, which will also take place on decision-day Monday.
"Although they are under the official voting age, student participants are engaging in discussion about the future of the country, researching the party platforms, and evaluating the leaders and the local candidates," explained Dan Allan, spokesperson for Student Vote Canada, in a statement.
"In the culminating activity, students cast ballots for the official candidates running in their school's electoral district, and those results will be shared on election night."
This includes (in alphabetical order):
- Anmore Elementary
- Eagle Mountain Middle School
- Alderson Elementary
- Banting Middle
- Centennial Secondary
- Children of Integrity Montessori Academy
- Coquitlam Continuing Education - LINC Program - Vanier Centre
- Eagle Ridge Elementary
- Glen Elementary
- Gleneagle Secondary
- Hillcrest Middle
- Harbour View Elementary
- Leigh Elementary
- Maillard Middle
- Maples Secondary
- Meadowbrook Elementary
- Miller Park Elementary
- Montgomery Centre
- Montgomery Middle
- Mountain View Elementary
- Maple Creek Middle
- Nestor Elementary
- Our Lady of Fatima
- Pinetree Way Elementary
- Queen of All Saints Elementary
- Ranch Park Elementary
- Rochester Elementary
- Roy Stibbs Elementary
- Scott Creek Middle
- Summit Middle
- Suwa'lkh School
- Vanier Centre
- Walton Elementary
- Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary
- Birchland Elementary
- Cedar Drive Elementary
- Ecole des Pionniers de Maillardville
- Hope Lutheran School - Port Coquitlam
- Irvine Elementary
- James Park Elementary
- Kilmer Elementary
- Our Lady of the Assumption
- Pitt River Middle
- Riverside Secondary
- Terry Fox Secondary
- Aspenwood Elementary
- Ecole Moody Middle School of the Arts
- Glenayre Elementary
- Heritage Woods Secondary
- Moody Elementary
- Mountain Meadows Elementary
- Port Moody Secondary
The Tri-City candidates for this year's snap-election are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Katerina Anastasiadis (Conservative)
- Kimberly Brundell (People's Party)
- Laura Dupont (NDP)
- Ron McKinnon (Liberal)
- Will Davis (Liberal)
- Desta McPherson (People's Party)
- Nelly Shin (Conservative)
- Roland Verrier (Marxist-Leninist Party)
- Bonita Zarrillo (NDP)
- with a file from Jess Balzer, Burnaby Now