Polling stations have opened in Nelson-Creston. Photo: Black Press files

Polling stations have opened in Nelson-Creston. Photo: Black Press files

It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

It’s officially Election Day in B.C.’s 2020 provincial snap election.

First called in September by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, B.C. 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.

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 per cent of the packages requested.

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.

An estimated 4,041 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Nelson-Creston riding. There are 29,389 registered voters in the region. There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

Eligible voters can cast their choice from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for one of four candidates: Nicole Charlwood of the Green Party, Tanya Finley of the Liberal Party, Brittny Anderson of the NDP and Terry Tiessen of the Libertarian Party.

Click here to see locations for every voting place in Nelson-Creston: https://elections.bc.ca/docs/GVD-voting-places.pdf

Candidates running in the riding:

Election 2020: Nicole Charlwood

Election 2020: Terry Tiessen

Election 2020: Tanya Finley

Election 2020: Brittny Anderson

Voter registration:

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

BC politicsBC Votes 2020