With a Fall election now confirmed in the province, Elections BC has released voter registration and mail-in ballot information.
Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman says that Elections BC has been working with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to develop safe voting plans.
“Our main focus is ensuring a safe and accessible voting process during the pandemic,” said Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman.
“All voters have the option of voting in person with protective measures in place, or voting by mail.”
Safe voting practices will be in place at voting places, including:
- Physical distancing
- Capacity limits
- Election officials wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Protective barriers
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Frequent cleaning of voting stations and frequently touched surfaces
Voters are encouraged but not required to wear a mask when voting. Voters will not be asked to remove masks when voting, but everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands before and after voting.
Eligibility declarations which were previously made by signing a voting book will now be made with a verbal declaration.
Voters are also allowed to bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot.
In-person voting will be available during advance voting, from October 15 to October 21, and on Election Day, October 24.
Advance voting places will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, and will take place across seven days, up from six in 2017.
Elections BC says the additional day of voting will help reduce numbers in voting places.
Voting places will also be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST on Election Day.
Elections BC is still working to confirm voting places and the dates they will be individually open.
This information will be posted on election.bc.ca and will be printed on “Where to Vote” cards sent to every registered voter in the province prior to advance voting.
Voting by Mail
Those who feel sick or are self-isolating should stay home and request a vote-by-mail package instead.
There is no special requirement to vote by mail, and the option is available for all eligible voters.
Vote-by-mail packages can be requested online at elections.bc.ca/voting/how-to-vote-by-mail, or by phone at 1-800-661-8683.
Packages will be mailed to voters who request them and will include instructions on how to complete and return it to Elections BC.
Register to Vote
Anyone who needs to register to vote, or who needs to update their information, can do online at elections.bc.ca/ovr, or by calling 1-800-661-8683.
Voter registration by phone closes at 8 p.m. PST on Saturday, September 26. Voter registration online closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on Saturday, September 26.
In-person registration is still permitted, however Elections BC says registering at a polling place will slow the registration process.
They encourage voters to register or update their information in advance to help reduce lineups, support physical distancing, and to speed up the voting process.
Jobs with Elections BC
Elections BC is hiring election officials to work at advance voting and on Election Day. Those interested in applying can visit elections.bc.ca/jobs for more information.
Candidate nominations close at 1 p.m. PST on Friday, October 2.
Completed nomination packages can be submitted to Elections BC’s head office in Victoria until 4:30 p.m. PST on September 23. They can be submitted in person or electronically.
Starting at 9 a.m. on September 24, completed nomination packages must be submitted to the district electoral officer for the district the candidate intends to run in.
Elections BC will post the final list of candidates online at elections.bc.ca as soon as possible after nominations close.
For more information about the provincial election, visit elections.bc.ca, follow Elections BC on social media, or call 1-800-661-8683.