B.C. election 2020: How to vote during a pandemic

Click to play video: 'How voting will look amid a global pandemic'
How voting will look amid a global pandemic
Going to the polls will be very different during the global pandemic but other jurisdictions have done it and Elections BC says it's ready with enhanced polling station protocols and remote voting options. Ted Chernecki reports – Sep 21, 2020

B.C.’s next provincial election is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24.

But the province is also in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click to play video: 'Election call in B.C. amid high COVID-19 numbers'
Election call in B.C. amid high COVID-19 numbers

Elections BC said it has been working on a plan for a while to make sure the election is both safe and accessible for voters, workers and politicians.

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Remote voting options, such as voting by mail, will be key this election for those who are at-risk, unable to go to a voting place, or concerned about voting in person.

This will also help reduce crowds in voting places on voting day.

Click to play video: 'Snap election? What a pandemic vote could look like in B.C.'
Snap election? What a pandemic vote could look like in B.C.

At each voting location, Elections BC said it will implement measures such as social distancing, capacity limits, increased cleaning of voting stations, hand sanitizer stations and use of personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and face visors.

Elections BC said online voting will not be an option in this election as the security risks are too high.

Vote in advance:

There are seven days of advance voting during this election campaign, from Oct. 16 to Oct. 21. Advance voting places will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

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However, not all advance voting places are open every day. Elections BC will be publishing the location of advance voting places and will send out Where to Vote cards. Anyone can vote in advance at a voting place.

Voting is also available at any district electoral office from the day an election is called to 4 p.m. on Oct. 24. If you haven’t registered before, or your information is out of date, you may register or update when you vote.

Voting by mail:

All voters in a provincial election can request a vote-by-mail package from Elections BC. Anyone can request one by filling out an online form or by calling voter services at 1-800-661-8683.

The completed package must be returned to the district electoral office after the election is called and before 8 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Voting by telephone:

Elections BC said this option will be available to voters with disabilities or underlying health conditions that would prevent them from voting through other means, such as voters in hospitals or long-term care facilities.

What you need to vote:

You can show one piece of the following ID:

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  • A B.C. driver’s licence
  • A B.C. Identification Card (BCID)
  • A B.C. Services Card (with photo)
  • Another card issued by the Government of B.C. or Canada that shows your name, photo and address
  • A Certificate of Indian Status
  • Show any two pieces of ID or documents that both show your name. At least one must have your current address. Note that electronic documents (e.g. e-bills) and electronic scans of a paper document are acceptable. Hand-written information on a document is not acceptable.

Someone can also vote if they don’t have identification but their identity can be vouched for by another person. That person must be a registered voter or related to that person or someone with the authority to make personal care decisions for the voter.

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