It’s now a new year, but we’re still waiting on the results of the Community Voters’ Challenge following October’s election.
Once the results are in, one community will be declared voting champion — having achieved the highest per cent increase in voters for the region.
But before the results can be tallied, the organizers behind the Community Voters’ Challenge need access to the results by poll, and that information still hasn’t been released by Elections Canada.
According to Mike Chapman, one of the organizers, they were originally hoping to have those results shortly after the election.
“We assumed that would be the case, but Elections Canada has said that they want to have all their i’s dotted and t’s crossed, and until they have all the precise information, they won’t publish them,” said Chapman.
A representative from Elections Canada said that it’s normal for that information to be released three to four months after an election, as opposed to shortly after, and expects the information will be available by either late February or sometime in March.
Residents of the region will have to wait to see who is victorious, but Chapman said the good news is that we already know the voter turnout in the area increased.
“We know that the vote went up considerably across the region and in fact I think that was our hope and that was our plan, and I think we can celebrate that regardless of who actually won the challenge,” he said.
Voter turn out in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding was 74 per cent, whereas the voter turnout for the British Columbia Southern Interior riding in 2011 was 66 per cent.
In the meantime, organizers are still hoping that Rick Mercer will take part in announcing the winner.
“We still have something up our sleeve; we’re working on that. We’re hoping that once we get the results from Elections Canada and know which community came out on top, perhaps we can invite him to be part of that announcement at that point,” said Chapman.