Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

UPDATE: Polls are now closed across B.C.

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Polls are now closed.

It’s officially Election Day in B.C.’s 2020 provincial snap election.

First called in September by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, BC Votes 2020 is likely going to be one for the history books, already seeing a number of records broken when it comes to voter turnout.

Roughly 681,000 people cast their ballot during the seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017.

Meanwhile, 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages had been received by Elections BC by Oct. 22, representing 66 per cent of the packages requested.

It is expected that some ridings will see preliminary results as to which candidate will likely take a seat in the B.C. Legislature by the end of day Saturday. Meanwhile, close races will have to wait until mid-November for the winner to be declared, once mail-in ballots are counted by Elections BC officials after Nov. 6.

Haven’t voted? There’s still time. Here’s what you need to know:

Voting places will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Polling locations:

Surrey South riding

• Chantrell Creek Elementary – 2575 137 St.

• Emmanuel Covenant Church – 17029 16 Ave.

• Grace Point Community Church – 3487 King George Blvd.

• Hazelgrove Elementary – 7057 191 St.

• Jericho Ridge Community Church – 19533 64 Ave.

• Katzie Elementary – 6887 194A St.

• Latimer Road Elementary – 19233 60 Ave.

• Morgan Elementary – 3366 156A St.

• Pacific Hights Elementary – 17148 26 Ave.

• Peace Portal Alliance Church – 15128 27B Ave.

• Rosemary Heights Elementary– 15516 36 Ave.

Surrey-White Rock riding

• Bayridge Elementary – 1730 142 St.

• Elks Lodge Hall 431 – 1469 George St.

• Jessie Lee Elementary – 2064 154 St.

• Kent Street Activity Centre – 1475 Kent St.

• Mt. Olive Lutheran Church – 2350 148 St.

• Ocean Cliff Elementary – 12550 20 Ave.

• Peace Arch Elementary – 15877 Roper Ave.

• Ray Shepherd Elementary – 1650 136 St.

• Royal Canadian Legion 240 – 2643 128 St.

• Sea Ridge Bays Strata Hall – 15875 20 Ave.

• Semiahmoo Secondary – 1785 148 St.

• South Meridian Elementary – 16244 13 Ave.

• St. Mark’s Anglican Church – 12953 20 Ave.

• Star of the Sea Community Centre – 15262 Pacific Ave.

Candidates running in the Surrey-White Rock riding:

Jason Bax, BC Libertarian Party

Trevor Halford, BC Liberal Party

Beverly (Pixie) Hobby, BC Green Party

Megan Knight, Independent

Bryn Smith, BC NDP

Candidates running in the Surrey South riding:

Stephanie Cadieux, BC Liberal Party

Pauline Greaves, BC NDP

Tim Ibbotson, BC Green Party

Voter registration:

While eligible voters don’t have to register ahead of time to take part in the election, Elections BC recommends British Columbians sign up ahead of time in order to avoid lengthy lineups.

Voters can register or update their information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by calling 1-800-661-8683. Registration closed on Sept. 26.

To be eligible, British Columbians must be able to show one of the following pieces of identification:

  • A B.C. driver’s licence
  • A B.C. Identification Card
  • A B.C. Services Card, with photo
  • A Certificate of Indian Status
  • Another card issued by the B.C. government, or Canada, that shows your name, photo and address

Health rules for voting during COVID-19:

All voting places and district electoral offices will have protective measures in place, including:

  • Physical distancing
  • Capacity limits
  • Election officials wearing personal protective equipment (such as masks and face-visors)
  • Protective barriers
  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • Frequent cleaning of voting stations and frequently touched surfaces
  • Election workers trained on safe workplace guidelines and pandemic protocols

Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., when those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 11,206 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Surrey-White Rock riding. There are 44,326 registered voters in the region.

Additionally, an estimated 12,703 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Surrey South riding. There are 52,202 registered voters in the region.

There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani



editorial@peacearchnews.com

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