Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

VIDEO: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates reflect on campaign as polls close

An estimated 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding

In the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding – which also includes Colwood – Mitzi Dean (NDP), Andy MacKinnon (Green), Desta McPherson (independent), and RJ Senko (Liberal) are facing off. Learn more about these candidates here.

On voting day, incumbent NDP candidate Mitzi Dean told Black Press Media she felt her and her team had run a “good, solid campaign.”

“I have a wonderful team, my team is so supportive and supportive of each other,” Dean said. “And I love being in my community and talking to people and finding out what’s important to them. I am asking for a second mandate because we’ve made some progress and we want to continue the work.”

B.C. Liberal candidate RJ Senko called his campaign a “sprint.”

“I did not get the nomination until about four days into the campaign,” he said. “The gun went off and I wasn’t even on the track.”

While there was a lot of virtual campaigning due to COVID-19, Senko said he also turned to some traditional campaign tactics.

“People have been willing to engage, which is refreshing,” he said. “I want to represent this community, I love it and I think we need to move away from the left versus right political spectrum and do what’s right for the people in the riding.”

Andy MacKinnon, a two-time Green party candidate for Esquimalt-Metchosin, said it’s been a “very different kind of election.”

“We put a lot more time and effort into social media campaigns and things like that,” he said. “I’m always happy when lots of people vote. I think the democratic process is really important. It’s way more important to me that people get out and vote than they get out and vote for me.”

MacKinnon echoed the stance of Green party leader Sonia Furstenau in condemning the decision to call an election.

“It was a surprise election of course,” he said. “In my opinion [it was] a totally unnecessary election in an attempt by a government to gain a majority government. We went from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in no time at all. It was a bit frantic at the beginning.”

Independent candidate Desta McPherson was running for the first time.

“When I got out to the people and started door-knocking, it was phenomenal, the response I got,” she said. “It was such a good feeling.”

Desta said she wants to be a “good, strong voice” for her community.

“I’m going to let the people speak,” she said. “And we’ll go from there. But I’m not done by a long shot. One way or another, I am not done.”

Early voting for the 2020 provincial election has broken records, according to data released by Elections BC Thursday (Oct. 22).

The agency said 681,055 people cast their ballot during seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017. In 2013, there were 366,558 people who voted in advance and 290,220 in 2009, with fewer yet in earlier elections.

In the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding, 10,232 people cast advance ballots, of the 41,312 registered voters in the riding.

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6, when those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 12,166 mail-in ballot packages were requested by voters in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding.

The region’s electoral officer told Black Press Media that some polling stations were busier than others and vote-by-mail numbers likely impacted the riding’s overall turnout.

READ MORE: Polling stations see steady stream of voters for B.C. Election Day, no long lines

Across B.C., a total of 724,279 mail-in ballots were requested and 497,900 have been returned to Elections BC, as of Friday, Oct. 23. This represents approximately 69 per cent.

There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Voter information cards sent by mail will provide the location of assigned polling stations in your community. If you did not receive a card, you can still vote, find your assigned polling station online at elections.bc.ca by using your postal code.

Black Press Media will be with you election day, bringing you live coverage of our local candidates as the poll results come in. Find coverage of the other Greater Victoria ridings by clicking the link below.

READ MORE: B.C. votes 2020

Seven ridings encompass Greater Victoria with a grand total of 27 candidates vying for your vote.

In Saanich North and the Islands, Zeb King, Adam Olsen, and Stephen Roberts are vying for your vote. Learn more about these candidates here.

In Saanich South, Kate O’Connor, Lana Popham and Rishi Sharma are on the ballot. Find the latest on Saanich South here.

In the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding, Florian Castle, Nicole Duncan, Roxanne Helme, and Murray Rankin are vying for your vote. Find the latest on Oak Bay-Gordon Head here.

In Victoria-Swan Lake, Rob Fleming, Annemieke Holthuis, David Somerville, Walt Parsons, and Jenn Smith round out the ballot. Find the latest on Victoria-Swan Lake here.

Karen Bill, Grace Lore, Jenn Neilson, and Jordan Reichert are running in Victoria-Beacon Hill. Find the latest on Victoria-Beacon Hill here.

In the West Shore’s other riding, Langford-Juan de Fuca, Gord Baird, Kelly Darwin, John Horgan, and Tyson Riel Strandlund are vying for your vote. Find the latest on Langford-Juan de Fuca here.

For more election coverage, go to vicnews.com/tag/bc-votes-2020.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Elections BC estimates that roughly 35 per cent of voters used mail-in ballots, which will be counted beginning on Nov. 6. This means that tonight’s election results may change.

ALSO READ: Here’s what you need to know to vote


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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