Lou Champis showing off his voting sticker. (Zoe Ducklow)

Lou Champis showing off his voting sticker. (Zoe Ducklow)

Port Hardy votes!

Checking in with local voters after the ballots have been cast

Port Hardy had a beautiful day to vote on Oct. 24, and plenty of folks proudly sported their “I Voted” stickers. Some took the time after casting their ballots to chat with the Gazette about what matters to them in this election.

Mika McMillan jokes, “I vote because it gives me the right to complain.” She voted for NDP candidate Michelle Babchuck, saying she’s happy with John Horgan’s leadership and doesn’t want a Liberal government again. “I like that they don’t cut away healthcare and schools, things the Liberals always do.”

Mika McMillan votes because “It gives me the right to complain!” (Zoe Ducklow)

Norm Campbell, who works with McMillan as a commercial painter, wasn’t annoyed at the election being called, saying “It’s just a vote.” He teased McMillan for voting NPD, saying, “Don’t you want to save the whales?” “Well sure, but I don’t want to have to buy an electric car,” she quipped back. For all his ribbing, Campbell also voted for the NDP, but said he doesn’t mind a minority government because it keeps spending in check.

Another person who preferred not to be named recalled their first vote as a youngster in a different province. “I voted for the marijuana party because they were going to turn the Trans Canada Highway into a big bowling alley and legalize dope. I was 18 or 19, what else are you going to vote for?”

“What a tough choice in there! An ‘x’ or a checkmark!” Anne Champis joked as she exited the Civic Centre. She chose ‘x’. (Zoe Ducklow)

Aubrey McAllister made a thumbs down gesture to people who don’t bother to vote. He votes every year, saying this year one of the things he likes about the NDP is dropping Medical Service Plan premiums. He wasn’t annoyed either about the election being called.

“COVID hasn’t stopped everything!” said Aubrey McAllister. (Zoe Ducklow)

Rod Burnett and Dennis Dyer sporting their stickers after voting. Neither of these two were too perturbed about the election. “I guess people in bigger cities were worried about congregating, but up here it’s no problem,” Dyer said.

Rod Burnett and Dennis Dyer sporting their stickers after voting. (Zoe Ducklow)

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., after those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 8,053 mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the North Island riding out of 45,121 registered voters in the region.

Across B.C., a total of 478,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of Friday, Oct. 22. There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca