Voters on Vancouver Island and in the Comox Valley came out in droves at advance polls for the upcoming federal election.
According to Elections Canada in a preliminary count, 24,372 people voted in the advance polls in the Courtenay-Alberni riding, up 1,881 people from the previous election.
In the North Island-Powell River riding which includes Comox, 21,094 voters took to the advance polls, up from 16,648 during the last election.
With the exception of a few locations, many of the 338 electoral districts across Canada saw an increase in the number of voters at advance polls.
Across the Island, the ridings of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Saanich-Gulf Island, and Victoria all saw increases in the number of voters at their respective advance polls. The only riding to see a decrease – although just by around 300 votes – was Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.
Across the province, advance voting turnout increased overall by 13 per cent since the 2019 election.
Over four days of advance voting, preliminary numbers show that 804,116 British Columbians cast their ballot, up from 710,107 in 2019. Nationwide, 5.8 million Canadians cast their ballot, a 18.5 per cent increase from the 2019 election.
Canadians are now past the time where they can request mail-in ballots but there is still time to send them in or drop them off at the Elections Canada office in a home riding. All other Canadians head to the polls on Sept. 20.
For information on the election and where to vote, visit elections.ca.
– With files from Katya Slepian