Mike Starchuk has a 2,243-vote lead over Marvin Hunt in the race to be MLA in Cloverdale.
Preliminary indications point to a Surrey-Cloverdale win for the NDP’s Starchuk, but there are still roughly 10,000 mail-in ballots to be counted.
Leading B.C. Liberal Hunt by 7,915 votes to 5,672 after 108 of 109 polls reporting, Starchuk, a former firefighter and city councillor, said he was excited with the results so far.
“I’m super happy with what’s transpired here,” Starchuk told the Cloverdale Reporter. “We were out there as the B.C. NDP here in Cloverdale … listening to the people and what was important to them.”
Starchuk said the NDP’s message about getting out of the pandemic safely, their investments in healthcare—specifically with the new hospital and regional cancer center in Cloverdale—and their push for Skytrain to Langley, among other things, were all platform issues that voters got excited about.
With a large number of mail-in ballots outstanding, almost as many as votes cast on election night, Starchuk thinks he’ll stay in the lead as those votes are tallied.
“I think the general trend will continue, but every vote counts,” Starchuk said. “We want to make sure those people … get their votes counted.”
The initial results were a “relative surprise,” Hunt told the Cloverdale Reporter. “By the same tone, when we have 10,000 mail-in ballots [in the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale], we still have a lot to count. My understanding is that a lot of (mail-in voters) are elderly and were concerned about being around others due to COVID.”
Hunt thinks the high number of yet-to-be counted mail-in ballots could sway the vote.
Hunt added if the early results are indicative of the final tally though, then “the people have spoken.”
In a one of the strangest campaigns during one of the strangest years in living memory, it was an election like no other.
Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., when those mail-in ballots are counted.
More than 68,000 mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Surrey area ridings. And across B.C., a total of 478,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday, Oct. 22.
There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.
Please see election tracker below.
For more election info, visit cloverdalereporter.com.