Kitimat residents heading in to vote at their designated polling station at Riverlodge Recreation Centre. Oct. 24, 2020. Clare Rayment photo.

Skeena residents make their way to the polls

Residents in Terrace, Kitimat, and surrounding communities are out voting for Election Day

Residents throughout B.C. and the Skeena riding are making their way to the polls today (Oct. 24) for the official Election Day of the 2020 snap provincial election.

“I believe it’s important to have my own input in Kitimat’s development, and it gives impact for every aspect of life, right?” Kitimat resident Johanna Dzikowska said, as she made her way in to vote. “We have to live in this special time and we have to adjust somehow, right? We are still alive, we can be happy with what we have.”

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. An estimated 1,765 mail-in ballots were requested in Skeena out of the 21,262 potential voters in the riding.

Kitimat resident Jim Young said he feels it’s important to vote “just to practice our right to participate in the democratic process.”

However, he also said he, like everyone else, has been overwhelmed with the amount of election news and campaigning that has been going on over the past month.

“I’m relieved it’ll be over [after today],” he said.

Skyler Sandhals said as he exited a polling station in Terrace that he was eager to vote because it’s an exciting time for the Northwest region with much current and potential industry activity, such as LNG projects and Brucejack Mine. The 35-year-old has lived in the Terrace area for nearly his whole life, and he remembers much gloomier economic times.

“I’ve been here my whole life, and through the recession and everything, so it’s an exciting time just to see so much industry happening,” he said. “I think it’s important to vote for what you feel is right for the region … It’s an exciting time. I just want to see that continue here.”

Sandhals said it was overwhelming trying to focus on the B.C. election with the American election happening simultaneously.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re living in the States when we’re not because there’s just so much, like we’re bombarded with information about them,” he said. “There’s just so much going on, it’s hard to know what is true and what is not true.”

Cam Gordon of Terrace said after voting that he was curious why advance ballots aren’t counted prior to election day.

“Why not count all of that, have an authority verify it all, and tuck it away so we’ve got the results but they aren’t released until tonight?” he asked. “Why delay things and count down the road?”

Gordon said he thinks the election won’t have a large impact on party representation in the legislature.

“I think he [John Horgan] probably took advantage of the situation, knowing that they were getting good support,” he said. “It was a little bit of gamesmanship I guess in that regard, but I don’t think anything is going to change a lot, other than they may probably get their majority.”

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

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