Many Likely Voters in British Columbia Plan to Vote by Mail in 2020

Nine-in-ten likely voters in the province have confidence in Elections BC to oversee the entire voting process this year.

Vancouver, BC [September 28, 2020] – British Columbia could see a substantial number of mail-in ballots in this year’s provincial election, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, three-in-ten likely voters in British Columbia (29%) say they intend to cast their ballot by mail this year, up from 2% who recall voting this way in 2017.

While 58% of respondents to this survey remember voting in person on Election Day in the last provincial election, only 28% say they are currently planning to cast their ballot in the same fashion on October 24.

The proportion of likely voters who intent to cast their ballot during the Advance Voting period is also lower in 2020. In 2017, 36% of respondents say they took advantage of this option. This year, only 27% intend to vote this way.

In addition, 16% of likely voters in British Columbia are currently not sure about the way in which they will cast their ballot in 2020.

“The concept of postal voting is particularly attractive for likely voters in Vancouver Island (32%) and the Fraser Valley (also 32%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “A similar proportion of those who reside in Metro Vancouver (29%) would also currently prefer to vote by mail,”

Likely voters aged 55 and over are slightly less likely to cast their ballot on Election Day (25%) than those aged 18-to-34 (31%) and those aged 35-to-54 (30%).

Conversely, voting by mail is a more popular option for likely voters aged 35-to-54 (33%) and aged 55 and over (31%) than for those aged 18-to-34 (21%).

Across the province, 90% of likely voters are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that Elections BC —the non-partisan office of the British Columbia legislature responsible for conducting provincial and local elections—will be able to oversee the entire voting process in this year’s provincial ballot.

Sizeable proportions of likely voters also express confidence in Elections BC to ensure that there is no fraudulent activity with mailed ballots (82%) and to enforce social distancing at polling stations (74%).

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 21 to September 23, 2020, among 750 likely voters in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.6 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

Photo by James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.