As Penticton residents take to the polls until 8 p.m. today to decide the next municipal government, it is still unclear if the city will top its voter turnout from the 2014 election.
According to Laurie Darcus, Penticton’s Chief Election Officer, who will be spending the day at the city’s main voting station at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, so far the day has been slow but lines are picking up.
Officials at the city’s secondary voting station at the Seniors’ Drop In Centre say their lines have been steady but are starting to pick up. According to Darcus 861 residents voted at the City Hall’s advance poll, over 1000 residents voted at the KVR advance poll, and just over 30 residents voted at the Senior Centre’s advance poll.
In 2014, voters broke the city’s record for ballots cast at the first advanced poll. It was reported that as many Penticton voters cast their ballots that first day as the votes cast on both days of the advanced polls in 2011. There were 1,893 votes cast over the two advance voting days in 2014, more than double the 790 votes cast in 2011.
This momentum did not appear to keep up on the day of the general election in 2014 as results showed only 31.4 per cent of residents cast their votes. Long lines and only one polling station were cited as potential reasons for the poor attendance.
The polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. this evening and the results will be announced and displayed at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The totals gathered from the Senior’s Drop In Centre will be phoned over to Darcus initially so that the results can be announced as soon as possible.
For more information about the candidates and where to vote, visit www.pentictonwesternnews.com for ongoing, live coverage of the 2018 municipal election.
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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