B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. VOTES 2020

Elections B.C. beefs up local teams for surge of mail-in ballots

Nearly half a million mailed ballots have been received

Elections B.C. has added dedicated local teams to handle the record number of mail-in ballots for Saturday’s provincial election, which have to be sent out to all 87 electoral districts to make sure people haven’t voted twice.

If the result is close, individual MLA results and even the overall winning party may not be known on election night, and close counts could be delayed beyond the two-week window after election day that Elections B.C. reserves for final counts.

Polls close at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, and results will be posted at results.elections.bc.ca as advance polling and election-day ballots are. Watch for coverage of the provincial and local results Saturday evening on this Black Press Media website.

Extra local staff are prepared to handle absentee and mail-in ballots in each constituency, Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman said Oct. 23. As of midnight Oct. 22, Elections B.C. had received 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages, about two thirds of the total sent out as voters made arrangements for a surprise election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s too late to mail packages back for counting, but completed mail-in votes can be dropped off at local Elections B.C. offices or polling places on election day.

Because voter identification is checked locally at advance polls and on election day, the mail-in and absentee ballots have to be sent from Elections B.C.’s Victoria headquarters back to each constituency to be checked off against the list of people who voted in person. Due to volume, the usual 13-day window for processing mail-in and absentee ballots may have to be extended beyond Nov. 6 before a final count is conducted. The final count may be delayed in some constituencies, depending on the volume of mail-in and absentee ballots.

RELATED: A quarter of registered voters have already cast ballots

RELATED: Early turnout breaks record as more than a million vote

Due to the volume, Elections B.C. officials intend to post daily totals of mail-in ballots counted. Many of the early ballot packages sent out were write-in ballots, as nominated candidates were not all known. To be valid, write-in votes have to contain the name or party affiliation of the local candidate.

Recounts are conducted if the preliminary count is within 100 votes of being a tie between two candidates. After final counts are completed, candidates have six days to request a judicial recount to examine questionable ballots.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation CEO, holds information brochures for the Light the Trees campaign, part of an effort to raise $5 million for the new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Million-dollar donation has Light the Trees campaign off to a bright start in Nanaimo

Windsor Plywood Foundation supports Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

A sport utility vehicle and a Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools work van crashed on Bowen Road near the intersection with Caspers Way this afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Drivers taken to hospital after head-on crash on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

Crash happened near Caspers Way intersection Friday afternoon

École North Oyster. (Black Press file)
With more student drop-offs during pandemic, SD68 examines safety outside North Oyster school

Fewer school bus trips and more cars accentuating traffic concerns, say school district staff

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read