Area H residents tried to vote in Princeton - and a ballot from Coalmont squeaked through

Area H residents tried to vote in Princeton – and a ballot from Coalmont squeaked through

Princeton voters sent a clear message Saturday, with a possibly-record breaking turnout at the polls.

While all present councillors sought another term, none were returned.

Barb Gould, Tyler Willis, Randy McLean and George Elliot are councillors-elect.

Fifty-eight per cent (58.17) of the estimated eligible voters in Princeton cast a ballot – 1310 people.

That compares with a 36 per cent average turnout in communities across the province.

While mayor and council were elected by acclamation in 2014, the town had a 39.77 per cent voter turn out in 2011.

In 2008 the turnout was 51.67 per cent.

Chief Elections Officer Cheryl Martens said “it’s an usually high turnout, that’s for sure.”


Because of the number of names on the ballot – 15 for just four council seats – it took eight hours for election officers to tally the results. Princeton was one of the last municipalities in British Columbia to declare results for Saturday’s vote, with the final numbers being reported at about 4 a.m. Sunday.

Martens said the polling station was busy all day, and often there were line ups of voters on the sidewalk outside the Princeton Legion.

“I anticipated it was going to be busy but people were waiting over an hour to vote,” she said.

An unexpected number of unregistered voters, who needed to produce identification and sign forms, contributed to the delay.

Martens said “we did have a number of people coming in from Area H to vote and they were turned away.”

The Area H director for the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen, Bob Coyne, was acclaimed.

Bob Coyne is the father of Princeton’s mayor-elect Spencer Coyne.

A review of the voters list in the advanced poll showed that one person from Coalmont actually did manage to cast a ballot.

“She wrote down her address as Coalmont and it got missed,” said Martens. “It was a mistake.”

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