Elections BC – Over 680,000 Signed Up For Mail In Ballots – Advance Polls Open Thursday, October 15 until Wednesday, October 21

Victoria – In a new and building record, some 680,000 British Columbians have received their mail in ballots.

Elections BC has received an unprecedented number of vote-by-mail package requests this election. As of October 13, 680,000 voters have requested vote-by-mail packages. In the 2017 provincial election, 6,517 voters voted by mail.

A breakdown of the number of packages issued by electoral district is now available on the Elections BC website here: https://elections.bc.ca/docs/2020-vote-by-mail-statistics.pdf.  

In total, 670,033 vote-by-mail packages have been issued to voters. Issued packages include those that have been sent to voters or are being prepared to be mailed.

Some voters who have been issued a vote-by-mail package may not have received it yet. Elections BC is working as fast as possible to process package requests, produce vote-by-mail packages and send them to Canada Post for delivery. It is possible that voters, especially those who request a voting package this week, will receive their vote-by-mail package after the recommended deadline to return it by mail on October 17.

Voters in this situation should plan on returning their package in person to a designated drop-off location, or vote in person during advance voting or on Election Day. Voters who have requested a vote-by-mail package must destroy it if they choose to vote in person, and should not return the vote-by-mail package to Elections BC.

Voters who have received their vote-by-mail package are encouraged to return it to Elections BC as soon as possible. Elections BC recommends voters mail their completed package by this Saturday, October 17, at the latest.

After October 17, Elections BC recommends voters return their completed package in person at any designated drop-off location. Designated drop-off locations include district electoral offices, voting places during voting hours, and some Service BC locations.

As of October 13, an estimated 138,500 vote-by-mail packages have been returned to Elections BC, representing approximately 21% of packages issued to date. The estimated number of returned packages does not include packages that have been received by Canada Post and are currently in transit to Elections BC or packages that have been dropped off at a district electoral office, Service BC location or voting place.

Elections BC must receive completed vote-by-mail packages by 8 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, October 24.

ADVANCE VOTING BEGINS THIS WEEK

Advance voting for the 2020 Provincial General Election begins this Thursday, October 15 and runs until Wednesday, October 21.

Voting places may have changed since the last election. Elections BC has reviewed all of the voting places being used to ensure they can support physical distancing and the pandemic safety protocols that will be in place at every location.

To find voting places near them and the dates they are open, voters can:

·         Check their Where to Vote card. Elections BC began mailing Where to Vote cards to registered voters last week.

·         Visit the Elections BC website at wheretovote.elections.bc.ca.

·         Call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683.

Important reminders for voters:

·         How to vote safely during COVID-19

·         Identification required to vote

·         Services for at-risk voters and voters with disabilities

Voters with questions about where, when, or how to vote are encouraged to contact Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683.

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