As mail-in, absentee ballots are tallied, Milobar retains lead in Kamloops-North Thompson

As of Nov. 7 at 9 a.m., B.C. Liberal candidate and incumbent MLA Peter Milobar held a 520-vote advantage over NDP candidate Sadie Hunter. Elections BC said 6,332 ballots are being counted.

Update as of 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7:

  • Peter Milobar (B.C. Liberal): 8,905 votes
  • Sadie Hunter (B.C. NDP): 8,489 votes
  • Thomas Martin (B.C. Greens): 2,113 votes
  • Dennis Giesbrecht (Conservative): 1,561 votes
  • Brandon Russell (Independent): 146 votes

B.C. Liberal candidate Peter Milobar’s lead over NDP candidate Sadie Hunter in Kamloops-North Thompson has been reduced to 520 votes as of Saturday morning (Nov. 7) at 9:45 a.m. as counting of mail-in and absentee ballots in the 2020 provincial election continues for a second day.

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Elections BC reported that there were up to 6,332 certification envleopes (ballots) to consider in the close Kamloops-North Thompson race and 8,130 certification envleopes to consider in Kamloops-South Thompson. As of Saturday morning, 10 per cent of the Kamloops-North Thompson ballots had been looked at, compared to 29 per cent of the ballots in Kamloops-South Thompson.

The count began on Nov. 6 and is expected to take at least three days to complete.

As of Saturday morning, as counting of mail-in ballots continued, Milobar led with 7,953 votes. Hunter was next with 7,433, followed by B.C. Green candidate Thomas Martin (1,935), B.C. Conservative candidate Dennis Giesbrecht (1,731) and Independent candidate Brandon Russell (134).

In Kamloops-South Thompson B.C. Liberal candidate and incumbent MLA Todd Stone still has a near-insurmountable lead as of Saturday morning, with 10,717 votes (52 per cent), compared to B.C. NDP candidate Anna Thomas’ 6,456 (31 per cent) and B.C. Green candidate Dan Hines’ 3,461 (16 per cent).

To catch Stone, Thomas would need about 80 per cent of the 7,498 mail-in votes.

As of election night, the NDP had secured re-election and a majority mandate, with 55 projected seats, compared to the Liberals’ 29 and the Greens’ three.

The 14,000-plus mail-in and absentee ballots that came in between the two Kamloops ridings may not be the final numbers counted as all certification envelopes must be screened before being accepted for counting to ensure legislated requirements are met and to prevent multiple voting.

According to Elections BC, ballots that do not pass screening are set aside and not opened. During final count, certification envelopes that are found to contain no ballot or more than one marked ballot will also be set aside and not considered.

Candidates and at least one representative per candidate may be present at final count, and must make a solemn declaration of secrecy before observing.

Once a district completes counting a type of absentee ballot, results will be reported for that type of ballot, and the Elections BC website will be updated.

There are several different types of absentee ballots that are counted at final count, including mail-in ballots, ballots cast at district electoral offices and ballots cast outside a voter’s electoral district of residence. Results will be updated on the Elections BC website on an ongoing basis during the counting process and at the end of each counting day. Counting is expected to continue until 6 p.m. each day until final count is complete.

Results can be viewed at results.elections.bc.ca.

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