PEI

'A clear mandate': Electoral reform advocates hopeful for change

Two groups advocating for electoral reform on P.E.I. are pleased with the results of a plebiscite that closed Monday after 10 days of voting.

P.E.I. voted for proportional representation in plebiscite results announced Monday night

Mark Greenan celebrates with supporters on hearing the plebiscite results Monday night. (CBC)

P.E.I. voted for proportional representation in plebiscite results announced Monday night

Two groups advocating for electoral reform on P.E.I. are pleased with the results of a plebiscite that closed Monday after 10 days of voting.

The final result of the plebiscite, after four rounds of voting, was 52.42 per cent in favour of a mixed member proportional representation system.

"We have a clear result and a government whose been given a clear mandate," said Mark Greenan, campaign manager for the P.E.I. Coalition for Proportional Representation.

Greenan said the support for PR was unequivocal.

"The first ballot numbers were clear. I saw them and I knew what the results were going to be, because the two proportional representation options had a clear majority," he said.

The two PR choices on the five option ballot won 50.5 per cent of the vote on the first count.

A low turnout

Only 37 per cent of registered voters cast a ballot in the plebiscite, well below what is typical in a provincial general election.

Most general elections have higher than 80 per cent turnout.

Mark Greenan and Jesse Hitchcock told CBC Island Morning host Matt Rainnie they were pleased with the results. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

"We were all feeling a little bit bleak yesterday when we saw those initial turnout numbers," said Jesse Hitchcock of Young Voters of P.E.I.

"So those numbers did jump quite a bit in the last day so that was exciting to see."

More than a quarter of all the ballots were cast on Monday.

Hitchcock agreed with Greenan that the result was clear.

"We're hoping that the premier and the government will look at these results for what they are, which is a vote for change," she said.

With files from Island Morning

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