Candidates in razor-thin B.C. races could be waiting days for mail-in results

Wilson Miao has never run for elected office before.

But the 34-year-old marketing and communications specialist is both humbled and excited about the possibility of flipping his Richmond Centre riding from blue to red.

“I want to be the person that really makes a difference,” Miao told CTV News Tuesday afternoon.

“Just have to be patient and neutral,” he added, not wanting to celebrating until every vote is counted.

That’s because Miao’s race, where he’s leading Conservative incumbent Alice Wong, hinges on the mail-in vote.

Elections Canada puts the number of what it calls “voting kits received” in the riding as of midnight Monday into Tuesday at 4,810.

That number is before mail-in ballots are verified, which is when officials make sure, among other things, that voters haven’t cast multiple ballots, and that the person who requested the ballot is the person who voted.

“We’re doing it in a slow methodical way to make sure all the processes are followed,” said Elections Canada spokesperson Diane Benson.

Benson said the verification should be complete across Canada’s 338 ridings by the end of Tuesday, with the actual counting of mail-in ballots set for Wednesday.

“If there’s a really high volume it could be that the count goes on until Thursday or Friday,” Benson said.

Miao said he’s been told he should be prepared to wait until Saturday.

Another riding that’s too close to call according to the CTV News Decision Desk: Vancouver Granville, where Jody Wilson-Raybould first won as a Liberal in 2015, then an independent in 2019.

As of this writing, Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed leads the NDP’s Anjali Appadurai by a mere 230 votes.

Elections Canada lists the number of “kits” received for Vancouver Granville at 6,275.

And pollster Mario Canseco, who calls the race “compelling,” said, in such a close race, knowing the approximate number of mail-in ballots doesn’t really help, when you don’t know where in the riding the ballots are coming from.

“You have three vast swaths of land,” he explained.

“One of them is heavily NDP, the other one is heavily Conservative, and the one that is closer to to Vancouver South tends to be more Liberal. So it's ultimately about getting out the vote.”

On Vancouver Island, Green Party incumbent Paul Manly is hoping mail-ins make a difference, but acknowledged on Twitter it would be hard to close that gap.

Manly currently tracks third behind his NDP and Conservative opponents.

Elections Canada puts the number of kits received in Nanaimo-Ladysmith at 7,575.