Voter turnout in Provincial General Election was 54.5% of registered voters

ELECTIONS BC has updated its estimate of voter turnout in the 2020 Provincial General Election from 52.4% to 54.5% of registered voters.

The updated estimate is based on the number of registered voters at the close of general voter registration on September 26, and the number of valid votes and rejected ballots cast at all voting opportunities.

As voters in B.C. can register when they vote, the number of registered voters on Election Day (October 24, 2020) will not be known until post-election processing is complete. Once this figure is known Elections BC will report the final turnout rate for 2020.

In total, 1,900,353 voters voted in the provincial election. While this was 86,021 fewer than in the 2017 Provincial General Election, when 1,986,374 voters cast a ballot, it was the second highest total in B.C. electoral history.

A record 724,279 voters requested vote-by-mail packages in 2020, a massive increase from past provincial elections. 596,287 voters returned their package by the close of voting, representing a return rate of 82.3%. This return rate does not account for voters who requested a vote-by-mail package but decided to vote in person. This figure is still being determined, and will be reported on in the Chief Electoral Officer’s report for the election (to be published in 2021). In the 2017 provincial election only 6,517 voters voted by mail, representing 57.8% of packages issued for that election.

This was also the first election in B.C. in which more voters voted before Election Day than on Election Day. The table below shows the percentage of votes that were cast at each type of voting opportunity in 2020 compared with 2017:

Voting opportunityPercentage of total votes cast in 2020Percentage of total votes cast in 2017
Advance voting35.4%30.2%
Voting by mail31.4%0.3%
Absentee voting4.4%8.7%
Voting on Election Day28.8%60.8%

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