Dan Davies: An extra week to vote in B.C.'s electoral reform referendum


This is it: Peace River North’s final push to get your ballots in.

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Due to the recent rotating strikes by Canada Post workers, Elections BC has extended the deadline to mail in your referendum ballot to December 7th. The original deadline was November 30th but keep in mind that your ballot has to be in the hands of Elections BC by 4:30pm on December 7th, so mail it in absolutely no later than this Friday, November 30th.

Alternatively, and preferably, you can drop off your ballot directly at any Service BC Centre by the new deadline. If you have requested a ballot from Elections BC but have not received it, go to Service BC and have them print you a new one! You have until December 7th.

Overall the participation in the referendum has been rather disappointing.

As of November 27, one-third of eligible voters have submitted a ballot and only 27% have been officially processed. In our region, Peace River North is voting pretty much along the same lines as the provincial average at 28%, with Peace River South the same.

If public polls are to be believed, the public is evenly split on keeping our current voting system or adopting some form of proportional representation. It also appears to be split along generational lines too, with those older than 55 being more likely to keep our current system as opposed to those 18 to 34 who overwhelmingly want change.

Either way, we are facing a situation in which only a third of eligible voters will decide the outcome. This means as few of 15 or 16 percent of British Columbians could determine the way we elect a government in our province for generations.

If you still haven’t voted, I encourage everyone to send in their ballot regardless of which system you support. This is your opportunity to vote in one of the most important matters to BC voters in decades and it is important we have a good showing!

Dan Davies is the BC Liberal MLA for Peace River North.

[Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct that to reflect that voters can only get ballots printed at Service BC if they had made a request to Elections BC on or before November 23 but have yet to receive them.]

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