Elections BC already appears to be getting ready for the possibility of a snap election.
CKNW has learned of at least three Metro Vancouver community centres that have been contacted by Elections BC and asked to secure space for voting places in case of an “on demand election.”
According to e-mails sent by several district electoral officers, they’re working with the possibility of going to the polls on either August 8, August 15, August 22, or August 29.
The community centres have also been asked if they can accommodate advanced voting, starting as early as July 29.
The May, 2017 election saw a record turnout at advanced polls.
In prior elections, Elections BC has had years to prepare for voting day, making it easier to secure locations.
In a statement, Elections BC Spokesperson Andrew Watson says the preparations “in no way indicate” that an election is certain.
“Elections BC strives to maintain a constant state of election readiness and will conduct any election that is called, whether it is a fixed date general election, a by-election or a snap election,” Watson said.
He adds that because of the minority government situation, the organization is “mindful of the need to be ready,” and must, therefore, being ready to rent space or hire staff should the writ be dropped.
Assuming the NDP-Green alliance does defeat the BC Liberals in a confidence vote, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon has the power to offer them the chance to govern, or trigger a new election.
Should B.C. head back to the polls, it will likely come with a hefty price tag. According to Elections BC, the May election cost taxpayers just over $44-million.
Anything is possible
Meanwhile, Liberal MLA Andrew Wilkinson says he fully trusts the decision by Elections BC to be prepared, but no one is too keen to run a campaign anytime soon.
“If they come to the conclusion that they need to be ready sooner rather than later, I certainly respect that decision,” said Wilkinson.
“I don’t have any inside information about the prospect of an election this summer, but certainly anything is possible. We have a House that is very tightly matched.”
In an e-mail to CKNW, the Green Party says it is the responsibility of every member to make the legislature work, no matter who is in charge.
The NDP has yet to respond to CKNW’s request for comment.
With files from Kyle Benning