The B.C. Liberal Party has adopted a new voting system that gives all ridings an equal say in choosing a new leader and a new premier.

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The weighted voting system was endorsed 1,319-23 on Saturday at conventions in Vancouver and eight locations around the province.

The system allots each riding 100 points to be counted in the leadership vote —  whether a riding has 1,000 members or a handful.

The new system had the backing of the party executive and all the leading candidates to replace Gordon Campbell, who announced in November that he was stepping down.

Supporters of voting system say it ensures sparsely populated rural ridings have equal clout in choosing a leader on Feb. 26. The critics — all from urban ridings —  say it means their votes will be worth less than those from rural ridings.

Falcon, Abbott applaud new system

In a written statement released Saturday, B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon reiterated his support for the weighted voting system, which he said will close the gap between rural and urban B.C.

"Having travelled to every part of the province during this campaign, I have seen and heard how important this decision is to our members," he said.

"As someone who has built his campaign around securing support from every part of British Columbia, I believe this decision will strengthen our party because whoever wins the leadership race will have to demonstrate that they have support from across the province."

Candidate George Abbott also supported the decision.

"This is a great day for our party, our members, and the province," he said in a statement. "This new voting system will ensure that every riding has a voice in the direction of our Party, starting with electing our new leader."

The other candidates are former MLA and radio personality Christy Clark, Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne and Vancouver-Langara MLA Moira Stilwell.

With files from the CBC's Jeff Davies