It’s official, the writs have been issued and a BC election will be coming our way on October 24.
No matter if this is your first time voting or your third, we can all agree that registering to vote is confusing. But ultimately, voting is a great way to have a say in the future.
With so many rules and regulations, registering can seem like a spinning vortex of ballot boxes and John Horgan’s white beard. So, here is everything you need to know to be ready to use your fundamental rights.
Voting can be done in two ways: in person or by mail. You can register either online at elections.bc.ca/ovr, or by calling 1(800) 661-8683. Eligible voters can register up until the time they vote, but this will make the voting process longer.
Elections BC said on their website that they encourage “voters to make sure their information is up to date now so they can vote faster, help reduce lineups at voting places, and support physical distancing.”
In order to be eligible to vote a person must:
- Be 18 years or older when they register
- Be a Canadian citizen
- Have been a resident of BC for at least six months
- Have either lived or owned property in the area they intend to vote for at least 30 days before registering.
- Not be disqualified under the Local Government Act
When registering you will need to provide your name, date of birth, address, and one of the following identification numbers:
- Your BC driver’s licence number,
- Your BC Identification Card number,
- The last six digits of your Social Insurance Number, or
- The last six digits of your Personal Health Number.
Voting in person will start with advanced voting from October 15 to October 21. Voting on election day will take place on October 24, and voting stations will be open from 8 am to 8 pm.
To vote by mail, voters will need to request a voting package online or by phone.
Elections BC said on their website that they will be “implementing a number of measures to help voters cast their ballot safely in person,” and that the “[p]andemic voting protocols have been developed in consultation with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer.”
They are encouraging voters to wear a mask, and will be asking voters to sanitize their hands before and after casting their ballots.
Now that you have that all figured out, it’s time to figure out the second and most important part: who you vote for.
For BC elections you will be voting for the MLA in your jurisdiction. The list of MLAs running for the election will be announced shortly after the nominations close on October 2.