Last chance to vote in B.C.’s proportional representation referendum

The clock is ticking down on B.C.’s referendum on proportional representation.

Voters have until 4:30 p.m. on Friday to get their ballot to Elections BC, which means if it is put in the mail now, it will not arrive on time.

That means voters that still want to have their say on whether B.C. should retain its current first-past-the-post system or switch to a proportional representation system will need to drop their ballot off in person.

In Vancouver, Surrey or Burnaby, voters that wish to vote in person will need to head to a Referendum Service Office.

Voters in other B.C. municipalities can bring their ballot to a Service BC centre.

British Columbians can find their closest voting location here.

Earlier this week, turnout in the referendum reached 40 per cent.

Turnout has been highest in the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, topping out at 50.3 per cent. Surrey-Whalley has the dubious distinction of the lowest turnout, with just 20.8 per cent of voters having turned in a ballot.

In the final days, the number of votes arriving at Elections BC has slowed to a trickle.

The referendum turnout hitting the 40 per cent mark has prompted the NDP to demand the B.C. Liberals accept the result of the vote.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has previously said a low turnout would call the referendum’s legitimacy into question.

In previous B.C. referendums conducted by mail, turnout has averaged around 50 per cent.

In the 2011 HST referendum, 52 per cent of voters returned a ballot, while more than 48 per cent of registered voters cast a ballot in Metro Vancouver’s 2015 TransLink plebiscite.

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