The Central Saanich Cultural Centre was one of two polling stations in Central Saanich for the 2018 municipal elections. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Good weather equals good voter turnout in Central Saanich election

At the Central Saanich Cultural Centre, foot traffic was steady during the 2018 municipal election — despite the lack of a mayoral race.

The polling station at the Cultural Centre had around 1,300 ballots cast by 3:30 p.m. today. In advance polling, 1,822 people cast a vote, an increase of 670 votes compared to the 2014 election. Deputy Chief Election Officer Liz Cornwell said she was pleased to see such a turnout, particularly when the election was only to decide the councillors. Incumbent mayor Ryan Windsor was acclaimed last month.

Cornwell said the sunny weather was likely a factor in the turnout, since local elections in the past were held in late November when rain is more likely. The District had a public awareness campaign prior to the election, and was handing out “I Voted” stickers and “Future Voter” stickers to children.

RELATED: Central Saanich wants to make voting easy for 2018

During the day, incumbent councillor Niall Paltiel was driving voters to the polls and putting flyers in mailboxes. He said he might catch a matinee or do some housework to ease his mind while waiting for the results, which will come at around 8:30 p.m.

Central Saanich resident Tim Knight said he was motivated to vote because many development decisions did not conform to the District’s Official Community Plan. He also said the District should not get a Licence of Occupation for Brentwood Bay from the B.C. government, but rather let the boating community manage themselves. Knight said he had a home with a view of the water, and enjoyed seeing the boats there. He said the District would end up spending millions to manage the bay with little to show for it.

When polls close, Cornwell and her colleague, Chief Election Officer Janice Schmidt, will take memory cards out of the electronic voting machines and meet at Central Saanich Muncipal Hall, where they will do their tallies and likely announce results by approximately 8:30 p.m.


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