An at-times contentious election in New Denver translated into the highest voter turnout in West Kootenay/Boundary in local government elections.
Preliminary results show 417 people cast ballots there. Although CivicInfoBC estimated the number of eligible electors as 419, for a 99.5 per cent turnout, the village says that was in error and the actual turnout was 77 per cent — which was still by far the highest in the region.
The figure was probably helped by the location of a new pump track in the village, which incensed some residents. However, mayor Leonard Casley was re-elected along with two incumbents and two newcomers.
Nearby Silverton posted the second-highest turnout at 65 per cent, followed by Kaslo and Greenwood, who each topped 60 per cent as well. However, of the 17 municipalities in region, only eight saw more than 50 per cent of residents show up at the polls. At the bottom of the list was Fruitvale at 26 per cent, followed by Nakusp and Castlegar at 29 per cent each.
Rural residents also stayed away in droves, with turnouts in the regional districts of Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary both below one-quarter mark. In the RDCK, that ranged from a high of 33 per cent in Area E and Area G to a low of 16 per cent in Area J. A referendum in the Slocan Valley on establishing a conservation fund service only had a 17 per cent turnout.
The turnout percentages for each area are listed below in ascending order. Turnout figures were not available for the school district races.
Grand Forks 37%
New Denver 77%
CORRECTIONS: An earlier version of this story, based on data from CivicInfoBC misstated Montrose’s turnout as 61 per cent and the RDCK turnout as 12 per cent.