Thirty thousand completed voting packages received by Elections BC

Ben Ronald / November 6, 2018

British Columbians will have three forms of proportional representation to choose from, or to stick with the current FPTP system.
(Elections BC)

British Columbians have mailed in over 30,000 completed voting packages with more than three weeks left in the referendum period.

The 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform is asking citizens to decide whether to stick with the current First Past the Post system, or to move to one of three systems of proportional representation (see our explainer here).

Elections BC says it has received 33,463 completed voting packages as of today, which is 11,000 more than the count as of yesterday.

Though this represents just one percent of the over 3 million packages that have been mailed to British Columbians, Elections BC says it does not measure success based on turnout.

“Elections BC does not set targets for turnout. Our goal is to ensure an accessible process so that all eligible voters who wish to participate can do so.” – Rebecca Penz, Director of Communications at Elections BC

Once the deadline has passed, votes will be tallied to determine if a majority of voters have opted to move towards a form of proportional representation. If that’s the case, the form of proportional representation that receives the most votes will be the one that is adopted.

A legislative committee will determine how aspects of the new system will work, and an independent commission will draw the new electoral boundaries.

British Columbians will get another chance to have their voices heard if a form of proportional representation is indeed adopted.

After two general elections with the new system, there will be another referendum to determine whether citizens of BC like the changes.

If this and the next government serve full four-year terms, that referendum would come in 2025.

Here’s what BCIT students had to say about electoral reform

With files from Michael Beck, Laura Johnston and Darya Zargar.