Provincial elections could undergo a dramatic change if a referendum on proportional representation passes next fall.(Black Press files)

Millennials’ voter turnout in 2017 B.C. election up 7%

The 2017 election cost $4.6 million more than the prior one

B.C.’s millennials had the biggest voter turnout increase in the 2017 provincial election, even though they still had the lowest percentage of voters coming out to the polls of any age group.

According to an Elections BC report released Monday, nearly seven per cent more 25-34 year olds voted in 2017 compared to 2013.

The 39.8 per cent of millennials who voted last year were still outstripped by the 18-24 year olds (Generation Z) with 47.9 per cent, as well as all older voters.

General turnout also went up with 61.2 per cent of eligible B.C. voters casting a ballot, compared to 57.1 per cent in 2013.

Increased turnout in turn led to an increased cost; at $39.5 million, the 2017 election cost $4.6 million more than the prior one.

Cost per voter also went up from $10.96 to $12.15 – an 11 per cent increase.

However, once the $1.6 million cost of implementing the new 2015 electoral area boundaries is accounted for, cost per voter increased by only nine per cent.

Elections BC spokesperson Andrew Watson said that the jump from 85 to 87 electoral districts contributed to higher 2017 costs.

Much of the increased cost could be attributed to salaries, which jumped from approximately $1.9 million in 2013 to $3 million in 2017 and a $3.1 million increase in ‘information system’ costs, from $1.7 million to $4.8 million.

Watson said that two extra advanced voting days led to an increase in staffing and that some elections officials received “modest pay increases.”

It its report, Elections BC said that it launched a redesigned mobile-optimized website for the 2017 election. The money paid off; 23 per cent more people visited the site on their phones and tablets compared with last year.

The agency also supplied its staff with tablets in lieu of binders for voter registration, noting that the new technology increased the speed of voter registration by 30 per cent and cut down on absentee ballets set aside due to staff errors from 6.9 per cent in 2013 to one per cent in 2013.

“Technology was introduced into the voting place, providing the ability to maintain electronic records of participation at advance voting (to meet legislated requirements), and to print labels for certification envelopes,” said Watson.

“Our business plan calls for the re-use of this equipment through events leading up to but not including the 43rd general election, scheduled for 2025.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey basketballers fall short in Junior NBA Canadian title game

On the line was an all-expenses-paid trip to Florida in August

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

‘Queen Extravaganza’ tribute concert brings hits to Surrey this fall

‘We Will Rock You’ and more in Roger Taylor/Brian May-created production

People First Surrey to hold rapid transit ‘discussion panel’

The party, which intends to challenge the reigning Surrey First, opposes LRT

South Surrey sting ends with dropped charges

Shop owner frustrated with outcome after videotaping regular customer

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 to start your day

B.C. is feeling the heat, NHL prospect expected to make a full recovery and more

Sweden beats South Korea 1-0

Sweden gets benefit of video review in World Cup

Blue Jay Roberto Osuna not expected to appear in court

The Blue Jays pitcher is charged with one count of assault by Toronto police

Global warming cooks up ‘a different world’ over 3 decades

Over 30 years the world’s annual temperature has warmed nearly 1 degree according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

Deep concerns arise over the child separation policy in the U.S.

Strong earthquake in Japan kills 3

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck the area early Monday near Osaka

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

Most Read