Uncertain times have also brought an unexpected activity to our collective fall calendars this fall season – voting.
With a snap Provincial General Election called for Oct. 24, 2020, voters have just a week left to exercise their democratic right to vote. But during a global pandemic, the process will look a little different to assure voters’ safety.
In addition to voting in person, Elections B.C. has opened up the opportunity to vote at a distance through the mail safely. While online and over the phone registration is now closed, voters can still request a vote by mail package from Elections B.C. on their website elections.bc.ca.
Residents of B.C. eligible to vote may be asked to send copies of their qualifying I.D. with their mail-in ballots to register their vote. Instructions on what information is needed and how to fill out mail-in ballots will be provided with each voting package.
Elections B.C. asks voters to send their ballots in as soon as they can. Elections B.C. must receive completed voting packages before 8 p.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.
As for voting in person, Elections B.C. and WorkSafeBC have combined efforts to assure that measures are in place for voter safety amidst the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All district electoral offices and voting places will have protective measures in place, including capacity limits, physical distancing, protective barriers and hand sanitizing stations. Election officials trained on safe workplace guidelines will also be wearing personal protective equipment and frequently cleaning voting stations and frequently touched surfaces.
In place of older regulations, voters will be asked to present their identification without handing it to election officials and will be asked to verbally declare their eligibility to vote instead of signing a voting book.
Voters are encouraged to wear masks and bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballots. If residents are ill or in a self-isolation period, they are being asked not to visit voting locations. Elections B.C. can be called at 1-800-661-8683 for assistance in these situations.
Kamloops residents, either in the North or South Thompson ridings, have several in-person voting locations at their disposal, all of which are listed on Elections B.C. website or their Where to Vote app.
All voting places are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with advance voting taking place from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21, 2020.