Langley Township now has the highest return rate in the Metro Vancouver transit tax referendum, followed by Vancouver and Maple Ridge.
Elections BC reported Wednesday 21.8 per cent of eligible ballots – more than 340,000 – have now been received and screened.
That return rate stands at 28.4 per cent in Langley Township, 25.1 per cent in Vancouver and 24.8 per cent in Maple Ridge. Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Coquitlam, North Vancouver District and West Vancouver all had return rates of 20 to 24 per cent.
The count as of April 22 consists of ballots that have been through the initial verification process at Elections BC, but doesn’t include about 155,000 more that have been received but not yet opened to check for a signature and birthdate.
“It is important to remind voters who have not yet voted to include both their signature and birthdate in the specified area on their certification envelope,” Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer said. “Completing this simple step is important to ensure that all plebiscite ballots are counted.”
Votes won’t be counted until after the May 29 deadline for them to be returned to Elections BC.
Metro voters are being asked to approve or reject an increase in the provincial sales tax in the region from 7.0 to 7.5 per cent in order to fund a $7.5 billion package of mainly transit upgrades over the next 10 years.
The planned upgrades include a Broadway subway, light rail in Surrey, a new Pattullo Bridge, new B-line express bus routes across the region and a 25 per cent general bus service lift.
Anyone who has not yet received a voting package can call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 or go to elections.bc.ca/ovr. May 15 is the deadline to request one. Elections BC officials say an earlier backlog of issuing new ballots requested through the website has since been resolved.