Turnout for advanced polls over the weekend in the BC Southern Interior were up approximately 25 per cent compared to the advanced polls in the 2008 federal election.
“Turnout was very good,” returning officer Rob Switzer said, adding that the percentage is just an estimate based on early numbers.
“Advanced voting has been jumping with every election,” he noted.
Switzer, who has been the returning officer for two federal elections and a number of provincial elections, said the number of people voting in advanced polls has been rising especially within the past 10 years.
He said people seem to like the convenience of advance polling, however electors in Castlegar experienced waits of up to 45 minutes during peak times during the advanced-voting days in the past week.
“We do a brisk business at the beginning of polling each day and after that it’s much more calm and people don’t have to line up,” Switzer explained, “but the people that go in the first hour for advanced voting seem to experience the longest lines.”
In 2008, 676 electors took part in advanced voting in Castlegar, while 5,300 people voted in advanced polls across the riding.
In total, 47,915 people voted in the BC Southern Interior in 2008 for a 64-per-cent turnout.
There are currently 74,280 eligible voters in the riding, Switzer said.
Election day is May 2, when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.