Anyone holding on to their vote-by-mail packages still has an opportunity to drop them off according to Elections BC.

BC residents go to the polls tomorrow (Saturday) and more than 20% of the province’s 3.5-million voters requested mail-in ballots.

Spokesperson, Andrew Watson explained to Vista Radio how these packages can be dropped off.

“Of all those requested we have received about 55% of them back so around 347-thousand and at this stage, we are recommending that voters, if they still have their package and need to return it should do so in person and they can do that in any voting place, electoral office or some Service BC centres as well.”

In 2017, Elections BC received over 11-thousand requests for mail-in ballots and about 65-hundred of those were returned.

He added with over 724-thousand vote-by-mail packages requested this year, Watson says there’s a chance we might have to wait for a winner.

“It’s certainly a possibility. I think it depends on what happens on election night and at that time we will be reporting ballots from the advanced and general voting and those are always preliminary results and another step in the process after election night is to verify the results at the district electoral office.”

“Usually on election night, we are counting about 90% of the ballots in an election but obviously with the really dramatic increase in vote by mail, this may not be the case this time. In the BC provincial election, we have two counts, there is the count on election day and those are the ballots from advanced voting and from election day and then there is the count of absentee or mail-in ballots, which typically starts 13 days after election day and takes around three days.”

“The reason for that time period between election day and the start of the absentee ballots is that we need to screen all of the mail-in and absentee ballots to make sure that no multiple voting has occurred and to make sure the voter that cast that mail-in ballot was eligible to vote, they were registered to vote and that all of the legislative requirements have been met.”

Close to 20% of eligible voters cast a ballot early in PG and BC during the week-long advanced polls.

Prince George-Mackenzie tallied 6,459 early votes out of the 34,433 registered voters (18.7% turnout)

However, it was slightly higher in Prince George-Valemount where they had 7,152 people advanced ballots cast from the 36,700 residents who were registered to vote (19.4% turnout).

In Nechako Lakes, only 9% of registered voters (1,539 people) marked down an early ballot.

Province-wide, over 681-thousand people voted early in 2020, which equates to 19.5%.

The polls are scheduled to close at 8 pm on Election Night.