Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Monitor: Getting out to vote is easier than ever

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to come up with a plausible excuse for failing to vote in a B.C. election. The most common reason that people usually give for bypassing the polling booth is that they’re too busy on general voting day.
VKA-vote-350401.jpg
Joanne Scott votes at an Elections B.C. district electoral office in Richmond Elementary School, one of several places around Greater Victoria where advance voting is possible.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to come up with a plausible excuse for failing to vote in a B.C. election.

The most common reason that people usually give for bypassing the polling booth is that they’re too busy on general voting day.

But almost every day is a voting day under current rules.

“General voting day is actually the last day to vote,” said Elections B.C. spokesman Don Main.

People can vote in their district electoral office from the day the election is called right up until 4 p.m. on general voting day, which is May 14.

They can also vote at one of the advance voting locations in their district, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., this Wednesday to Saturday.

In addition, they can request a vote-by-mail package from a district office or Elections B.C.

“Another thing that most voters probably don’t know is that you can vote at any advance or general voting location in the province,” Main said. “If you live in Victoria, but you find yourself in Vancouver on advance voting day or general voting day, you can actually vote in Vancouver for your electoral district in Victoria.”

To make that even easier for people, Elections B.C. has created a VoteBC app for iPhones and iPads that allows the user to find the nearest voting booth.

“It reads the GPS [global positioning system] off your phone and it shows you all the voting places around you,” Main said.

“Click on one and it gives you the driving, walking, transit and taxi directions on how to get there.”

Once at a voting station, it’s important to remember that you have to be a Canadian citizen at least 18 years of age and a resident of B.C. for the six months prior to election day in order to vote.

You also have prove your identity and address in order to get a ballot. You can do this by:

• Presenting your driver’s licence or other picture identification with your name and address

• Presenting an Indian Status card

• Presenting two documents that show your name, one of which also shows your address, such as a utility bill, bus pass or prescription medication

• Getting someone to vouch for you, such as a family member or another registered voter in the same electoral district.

The locations of district electoral offices, advance polling stations and details on how to request a vote by mail package can be obtained by visiting the Elections B.C. website at elections.bc.ca. or by calling toll-free 1-800-661-8683.

lkines@timescolonist.com