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

Cherry growers hope to avoid helicopter use

Extended rainfall can damage cherry crops

Youth addiction centre near Keremeos celebrates one year

Ashnola at the Crossing has been open just over a year

Coldstream standoff suspect enters five guilty pleas

Accused man pleads guilty to five more counts from February standoff with police.

Okanagan athletes qualify for international triathlon

Keagan Ingram of Summerland will compete in event in Ecuador on July 1

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Updated: Weather office says more thunder and strong winds possible Friday afternoon, evening

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

Most Read