More than 3,500 Tri-City voters cast ballot on first day of advance polling

And that's without counting turnout in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, one of three ridings where first-day turnout numbers were delayed.

Well over 3,500 Tri-City voters cast their ballots on the first day of advance polling — and that’s excluding the riding of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, one of three across the province that experienced a delay in receiving preliminary turnout figures.

A spokesperson for Elections BC confirmed that Coquitlam-Burke Mountain’s first-day numbers would be published Saturday, Oct. 17.

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Across the province, 104,937 voters voted Thursday, in the first test of in-person voter turnout during a pandemic in B.C. In the last provincial election in 2017, 122,465 voters cast their ballots on the first day of advance voting.

There are 3,485,858 registered voters in B.C., and in the last election, about two million registered voters cast ballots.

Of the Tri-Cities’ four ridings, Coquitlam-Maillardville reported the highest turnout rate on day one, with 1,180 voters showing up to the ballot box. That represents about 3% of the ridings 39,137 registered voters. 

Port Coquitlam, meanwhile, reported 2.8% turnout Thursday, or 1,250 of the riding’s 44,136 registered voters. 

Not far behind, just under 2.7% of voters showed up to the polls in Port-Moody-Coquitlam, 1,083 of the 44,136 registered voters in that district.

Mail-in voters have also been busy, with more than 700,000 British Columbians requesting ballots as of Friday morning. 

The mail-out ballots requested for the election during the COVID-19 pandemic are more than 100 times the number requested in 2017, and in some ridings they make up more than 25% of registered voters.

Elections BC says the final count of the mail-in and absentee ballots won't start until 13 days after the election.

Advance polls opened Thursday, Oct. 15, and will remain open until 8 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 21. The provincial election takes place Oct. 24.

- With files from the Canadian Press

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