VANCOUVER — Elections BC says it didn't open nearly 38,400 ballot packages in Metro Vancouver's transit plebiscite due to missing signatures, birthdates or even certification envelopes. The figure is found in a report submitted Tuesday from the chief electoral officer to members of the provincial legislature. Sixty-two per cent of Metro Vancouverites rejected a proposal by area mayors to raise $7.5 billion for transit upgrades through an extra half-per cent sales tax. Elections BC says the plebiscite cost each registered voter $3.44 for a total of more than $5.3 million. It says 51 per cent of 1.5-million registered voters returned their packages by May 29 but only 48.6 per cent of registered voters had their ballots counted. The independent office says it didn't open 38,393 packages because in some cases voters failed to sign or print their birthdate on the certification envelopes or their birthdate didn't match the voter records. In contrast, Elections BC's website says nearly 54 per cent of registered voters participated in the 2011 HST referendum. More than 55 per cent of eligible voters participated in the 2013 provincial election, according to the same website.
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