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How to vote and your ballot options for the upcoming municipal election

Registering to vote, voting by mail, counting ballots and accessibility in Victoria
Some voting stations had line-ups on the 2018 municipal election on general voting day. The City of Victoria says registering with Elections BC before Oct. 15 will make voting faster. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saturday, Oct. 15 is General Local Elections Day across the province. Greater Victoria residents will choose a mayor, city councillors, school trustees and/or Capital Regional District (CRD) directors.

In the City of Victoria, voters can elect up to eight councillors and nine school trustees for School District 61.

The provincial list of voters is used to determine those who are registered to vote. Those who are not already registered are encouraged to register ahead of time via Elections BC, because it will make the voting process quicker.

If you have your voter card from Elections BC, you just need one piece of identification. If you are not registered you will need to bring two pieces of identification showing who you are, where you live and a signature.

According to the province, voters with two pieces of identification without an address can also be eligible to vote following a solemn declaration about their residency in cities which use the provincial voters list.

Residents who voted in prior municipal elections, or voted in the last provincial election from Victoria are already registered to vote, according to the city webpage on information for voters.

Advanced voting will take place at three locations, including City Hall, Our Place and the University of Victoria. Advanced voting day locations will be open for different days and periods of time from Oct. 5 to Oct. 12. A mail-in voting option will be available for all voters, but the city has not yet announced when voters can begin requesting their mail-in ballots.

On the general voting day (Oct. 15), the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are 13 different locations for residents to cast their ballot on voting day, and one will have an accessible voting machine. The city has not yet announced which voting day location will have the machine. The accessible voting machine uses an audio interface with headphones and the preferred selector device of the voter.

Voters with disabilities also have the option to cast their ballot from their car at any advanced or election day polling location by visiting the parking space with a curbside voting sign.

Roughly 29,700 people voted in the 2018 election meaning there was a 43.5 per cent turnout among registered voters, according to the city’s official results. Roughly 12,300 people cast their ballot for the 2020 by-election meaning there was a 17.5 per cent turnout among registered voters.

Voters will mark their choices on paper ballots and a machine will count the votes for each candidate. The city keeps a copy of all the paper ballots in case a recount is needed, according to the city’s information for voters.

READ MORE: B.C. Municipal Elections


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About the Author: Morgana Adby, Local Journalism Initiative

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