Advance voting for B.C. election begins today

Polls across B.C. are now open for seven days of advance voting, ahead of the Oct. 24 provincial election.

Advance voting runs from Thursday, Oct. 15 until Wednesday, Oct. 21, meaning British Columbians get one extra day to cast their ballots ahead of time, compared to the 2017 election.

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Advance polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., however, Elections BC says some voting locations won’t be open on every advance voting day.

Information on advance voting locations and the dates they are open are indicated voter cards delivered earlier this month or on the Elections BC website.

Voters can also call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683.

Andrew Sitko, who cast his ballot Thursday morning in Richmond, said election workers were wearing masks and behind plexiglass barriers, while voters were spaced out where they lined up outside. 

“Masks may be optional, but I didn’t see anyone one not wearing a mask,” he added.

There are several safety measures in place at the polls, according to Elections BC, including physical distancing, capacity limits and protective barriers at voting stations.

Hand sanitizing stations will be located at the entry and exit of voting places.

Elections officials – who have been trained on pandemic safety protocols – will also be wearing personal protective equipment, including face masks and visors, and voting booths and high-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned.

The use of face masks by voters is optional.

Voters can also bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot.

In order to be able to vote, you must be 18 years or older by voting day, a Canadian citizen and a resident of B.C. for at least six months.

You are also required to provide a piece of identification which includes your name and address at the time of voting.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have opted to skip the voting line and mail in their ballots instead.

As of Wednesday, Elections BC had received about 699,000 requests for vote-by-mail packages, around 138,000 of which have already been mailed back.

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