The votes are in and proportional representation is out.

Chief Electoral Officer, Anton Boegman presented the outcome of the recent referendum on electoral reform this afternoon. 1,402,358 packages, representing 42.6 per cent of registered voters in the province were returned. Of those, 1,391,423 ballots were valid.

The first question on the referendum was whether voters would like to change from our current system, and the second was a ranking of what system voters would like to change to. Voters were then asked to rank Dual Member Proportional (DMP), Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), and Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP).

For question one, 61.3 per cent voted to keep the current first past the post system and 38.7 per cent were looking for a change. Question two required two counts. In the first, DMP won 29.45 per cent, MMP came in highest at 41.24 per cent and RUP ranked lowest at 29.31 per cent.

In the second count the votes from RUP, the least favourite, were transferred to voters second choice. In that, the results were MMP with 53.05 per cent  and DMP  with 46.95 per cent.

However, Boegman said over 550,00 voters chose not no answer Question 2 at all.

In terms of how local residents voted, two of the West Kootenay ridings were slightly more in favour of adopting a new system. There were over 14,000 votes cast in the Nelson-Creston riding with just over 57 per cent  in support of Proportional Representation. In Kootenay West, just over 51 per cent were in favour from roughly 13,600 votes. Boundary-Similkameen voters didn’t want to see a new system adopted with just over 68 per cent of roughly 15,700 voters in favour of First Past the Post.

More local results by electoral district are available on the Elections BC website here. 


***With files from Cole Kelly, Vista News reporter