How The Transit Referendum is Improving BC’s Voter List

Other than the result, the statistic that will be reported the most in the Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum will be the voter turnout. For good reason; the level of voter turnout is an important factor in assessing the authority of the result. Knowing how much attention is paid to voter turnout, Elections BC has been reporting the number of ballots received for the referendum on a weekly basis. News outlets are analyzing the voter turnout by municipality and reporting on where turnout is the highest and lowest.

Turnout aside, its also interesting to look at the numbers reported by Elections BC on the number of people on the lists of voters.

Elections BC has been reporting the number of people on the voters lists for the Metro Vancouver municipalities on a weekly basis.

During this referendum there have been increases in the voters list in every municipality except for Lions Bay. There may be several explanations for this, including people moving to (and from) Metro Vancouver, people turning 18 and registering as voters, people who previously weren’t on the list of voters deciding to register because they want to vote in the referendum.

All these changes to the voters list are helping Elections BC keep its voters lists up to date and accurate. When it comes time for a provincial election, having a more complete and accurate voters list will be a benefit to everyone.

Is the transit referendum helping Elections BC keep an up to date and accurate list of voters? It is difficult to say whether the increase in registrations are a result of new registrations from people moving in or turning 18, or people who were previously eligible registering for the first time in order to vote in the referendum. We also don’t know what the expected changes in the voters list would be in the absence of the referendum. However, I think it is likely that the transit referendum has had a positive impact on getting people to proactively register or update their information.

Here is what the changes in voter registration look like, 7 weeks into the referendum. Overall in Metro Vancouver, between April 1 and May 13 there has been an increase of 9,031 people on the list of voters (an increase of 0.58%). Here are the total change and percentage changes so far for each of the municipalities:

Municipality Total Change % Change
Bowen Island Municipality 10 0.37%
City of Burnaby 701 0.49%
City of Coquitlam 455 0.53%
City of Langley 114 0.65%
City of Maple Ridge 290 0.54%
City of New Westminster 456 1.00%
City of North Vancouver 326 0.96%
City of Pitt Meadows 41 0.32%
City of Port Coquitlam 190 0.49%
City of Port Moody 122 0.54%
City of Richmond 497 0.40%
City of Surrey 1354 0.46%
City of Vancouver 3368 0.81%
City of White Rock 32 0.21%
Corporation of Delta 182 0.26%
District of North Vancouver 236 0.39%
District of West Vancouver 125 0.42%
Metro Vancouver Electoral Area “A” 179 2.86%
Township of Langley 329 0.42%
Tsawwassen First Nation 16 3.13%
Village of Anmore 4 0.26%
Village of Belcarra 8 1.60%
Village of Lions Bay -4 -0.38%

Once the referendum is complete I will post the final data showing the changes in the list of voters.

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