It’s officially Election Day in B.C.’s 2020 provincial snap election.
First called in September by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, BC Votes 2020 is likely going to be one for the history books, already seeing a number of records broken when it comes to voter turnout.
Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Roughly 681,000 people cast their ballot during the seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017.
Meanwhile, 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages had been received by Elections BC by Oct. 22, representing 66 percent of the packages requested. An estimated 3,121 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding. There are 25,306 registered voters in the region.
It is expected that some ridings will see preliminary results as to which candidate will likely take a seat in the B.C. Legislature by the end of day Saturday. Meanwhile, close races will have to wait until mid-November for the winner to be declared, once mail-in ballots are counted by Elections BC officials after Nov. 6.
Haven’t voted? There’s still time. Here’s what you need to know:
Polling locations for the Cariboo Chilcotin (in South Cariboo):
100 Mile Community Hall, 265 Birch Avenue, 100 Mile House
100 Mile Elementary School, 97 Birch Avenue, 100 Mile House
Lone Butte Community Hall, 5994 Little Fort Highway 24, Lone Butte
108 Mile Ranch Community Hall, 4924 Telqua Drive, 108 Mile Ranch
Forest Grove Community Hall, Eagle Creek Road, Forest Grove
Pioneer Centre, 4489 Clarke Avenue, Lac La Hache
Canim Lake Band Community Hall, 45 Canim-Hendrix Lake Road, Canim Lake
Sulphurous Lake Community Hall, 7571 PettyJohn Road, Bridge Lake
Interlakes Community Hall, 7592 Highway 24, Bridge Lake
Candidates running in the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding:
Scott Andrews, BC NDP Party
James Buckley, BC Libertarian Party
Lorne Doerkson, BC Liberal Party
David Laing, BC Green Party
Katya Potekhina, Independent
Polling stations for Fraser-Nicola (in South Cariboo):
Clinton Memorial Hall, 306 Le Bourdais Avenue, Clinton
70 Mile House Access Centre, 2545 North Bonaparte Road, 70 Mile House.
Candidates running in the Fraser -Nicola riding:
Dennis Adamson, Independent
Mike Bhangu, Independent
Aaron Sumexheltza, BC NDP Party
Jackie Tegart, BC Liberal Party
Jonah Timms, BC Green Party
While eligible voters don’t have to register ahead of time to take part in the election, Elections BC recommends British Columbians sign up ahead of time in order to avoid lengthy lineups.
Voters can register or update their information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by calling 1-800-661-8683. Registration closed on Sept. 26.
To be eligible, British Columbians must be able to show one of the following pieces of identification:
- A B.C. driver’s licence
- A B.C. Identification Card
- A B.C. Services Card, with photo
- A Certificate of Indian Status
- Another card issued by the B.C. government, or Canada, that shows your name, photo and address
Health rules for voting during COVID-19:
All voting places and district electoral offices will have protective measures in place, including:
- Physical distancing
- Capacity limits
- Election officials wearing personal protective equipment (such as masks and face-visors)
- Protective barriers
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Frequent cleaning of voting stations and frequently touched surfaces
- Election workers trained on safe workplace guidelines and pandemic protocols
– with files from Ashley Wadhwani