Election day is underway in Saanich and residents have been steadily arriving at polls all across the district since they opened at 8 a.m.
At Pearkes Recreation Centre, a line of eager voters quickly formed, wrapping around the outside of the building. Despite the large turnout so far, Saanich chief elections officer Angila Bains said the process is going smoothly.
“In the first two hours we’ve had quite a few folks come out and vote,” she said. “If we can continue that trend all day long, I think we’ll be looking at a state of high voter turnout.”
Bains added that Saanich has taken some measures to streamline the voting process in this election, like amending the district’s elections bylaw to allow for mail-in ballots as well as relocating several polling centres.
While voters expressed concern over a variety of issues, many cited the lack of affordable housing in Greater Victoria as the reason for coming out to vote.
“I would say affordability is the biggest issue facing all of us right now,” said Carmon McColl. “The cost of living is going up. Homes – you look at young people – what are the chances they’re going to be able to buy into the market these days? It’s low. We need someone who is going to make change.”
Although high school social studies teacher Mark Cristante wasn’t particularly excited about any of the candidates on his ballot, he said he came out to the poll simply because it’s his civic duty.
“I have to practice what I preach,” he said. “It’s important to use that right, even if I don’t care for anyone or I’m uneducated about who to vote for.”
Fred Haynes and Dean Murdock face off in the mayoral race with 22 candidates running for eight councillor positions. Councillor candidates include Trevor Barry, Susan Brice, Judy Brownoff, Kathleen Burton, Nathalie Chambers, Bianca Chu, Zac de Vries, Karen Harper, Sasha Izard, Basil Langevin, Mark Leiren-Young, Vernon Lord, Jordan MacDougall, Gregory Matte, Leslie Miller-Brooks, Mark Neufeld, Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Colin Plant, Art Pollard, Jordan Reichert, Rishi Sharma and Mena Westhaver.
A total of seventeen locations are open to Saanich residents including Campus View Elementary School (3900 Gordon Head Rd.), Cedar Hill Middle School (3910 Cedar Hill Rd.), Cedar Hill Recreation Centre (3220 Cedar Hill Rd.), Cloverdale Traditional School (3427 Quadra S.), Cordova Bay Elementary School (5238 Cordova Bay Rd.), Doncaster Elementary School (1525 Rowan St.), Frank Hobbs Elementary School (3875 Haro Rd.), Glanford Middle School (4140 Glanford Ave.), Gordon Head Recreation Centre (4100 Lambrick Park Wy.), G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre (3100 Tillicum Rd.), Hillcrest Elementary School (4421 Greentree Ter.), Lansdowne Middle School (1765 Lansdowne Rd.), Lochside Elementary School (1145 Royal Oak Dr.), Prospect Lake Elementary School (321 Prospect Lake Rd.), Reynolds Secondary School (3963 Borden St.), Saanich Commonwealth Place (4636 Elk Lake Dr.) and Spectrum Community School (957 Burnside Rd. W.).
What happens once polls close?
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