Elections staff at the Reynolds Secondary polling station said COVID-19 safety protocols are in place and voters are given lots of space to safely cast their ballots. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Elections staff at the Reynolds Secondary polling station said COVID-19 safety protocols are in place and voters are given lots of space to safely cast their ballots. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Polling stations see steady stream of voters for B.C. Election Day, no long lines

Same-day voting stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 24

Greater Victoria polling stations officially opened for Election Day at 8 a.m. on Oct. 24 and a slow but steady stream of voters have been casting their ballots through the morning.

A few voters were already lined up before 8 a.m. outside of Christ Church Cathedral School on Vancouver Street on Oct. 24. Election officials there said they had approximately a dozen people vote in the first half-hour of opening.

Elections staff at the Reynolds Secondary polling station in Saanich said voters had been coming in steadily through the morning but noted that numbers were lower than in previous years.

Andrew Watson, communications director for Elections BC, told Black Press Media that “safe voting has been the focus” during this snap election.

“Voters can feel confident in the process we’ve put in place,” he said, noting that staff have all been given personal protective equipment to wear at the polling stations, hand sanitizing stations are set up for voters and everyone is encouraged to wear a mask while casting their ballot – though it’s not mandatory.

Other COVID-19 health restrictions are in place including physical distancing, capacity limits and protective barriers. Contact with staff was also reduced by switching to a verbal declaration rather than having voters sign before voting and single-use pencils are available for voting.

Those who have already registered to vote should have received a voting card in the mail, which can be used as identification when going to vote. Anyone who hasn’t already registered will simply need to bring two pieces of identification when heading to the voting station.

Voting is expected to take under 10 minutes and polling stations are set up in large spaces to ensure there is room for social distancing inside, Watson said. He added that while turnout was steady through the morning, the “record turnout” for advanced voting and vote-by-mail meant that fewer people were voting on Election Day. No long lines or other issues were reported at polling stations through the morning.

“Please get out and vote,” Watson said, noting that anyone who requires assistance with finding their polling station or any other step in the voting process can contact Elections BC directly at 1-800-661-8683. Anyone who didn’t vote by mail or during advanced voting can head to a designated voting station anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 24.

READ ALSO: Here’s your Greater Victoria roundup for the 2020 B.C. election

Results from advanced and same-day voting are expected to start rolling in after 8 p.m., but mail-in ballots won’t be counted for a couple more weeks. Official results can be expected in the first week of November.


 

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