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Thousands fill out early ballots in Langley Township, City

Early voting is proving more popular than ever
Thousands of Langley residents have already voted at advance polls – which continue this week. (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)

Early voting in Langley Township is way up this year compared to the last municipal election.

As of the weekend, 3,233 people had already cast their ballots in four days – out of seven – of early voting, according to a Township spokesperson.

That’s up 79 per cent from the same period in 2018.

The Township noted that some advanced polls were open for fewer hours in 2018 – this year, there were seven hours more available for people to cast ballots than there were by this time in 2018.

Langley Township is facing a significant amount of change in the makeup of its council this year, as incumbent Mayor Jack Froese has chosen not to run, and there will be at least four empty council seats.

Former councillor Michelle Sparrow, Councillor Eric Woodward, Coun. Blair Whitmarsh, and former Langley East MLA Rich Coleman are all running for mayor.

In addition, Coleman and Woodward are both running with slates of candidates for council. Coleman has organized Elevate Langley, while Woodward is leading Contract with Langley.

There are 28 council candidates for eight seats, as well as 10 trustee candidates, including three with Contract with Langley.

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Meanwhile, in Langley City, early voting was also up, but not by nearly as much.

Chief election officer Kelly Kenney said that with three of four advance voting opportunities complete, 767 people have already cast a ballot in the City. That’s up from 653 in 2018, the election that saw Val van den Broek defeat former City mayor Peter Fassbender.

This year, van den Broek is running again, this time against Coun. Nathan Pachal. There are 14 candidates for the six council seats, but both school board seats were elected by acclamation, as there were only two candidates.

Kenney noted that in 2018, 28 per cent of all voters cast their ballots in advance.

Both City and Township still had some early voting opportunities this week, before the official election day on Oct. 15.

The City hosts is final advance voting day on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Timms Community Centre from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Curbside voting is available for people who cannot enter the polling place.

In The Township, advanced voting continued on Oct. 11 in Aldergrove, on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at W.C. Blair Recreation Centre in Murrayville, and on Thursday, Oct. 13 at George Preston Recreation Centre in Brookswood.

All voting days will see the ballots open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., as will general election day on Saturday, Oct. 15.

In the 2018 election, 25,747 eligible voters cast ballots, about a third of the total electorate at the time.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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