Voting places are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. today, Oct. 24, election day in B.C. (Wolf Depner/Black Press)

Voting places are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. today, Oct. 24, election day in B.C. (Wolf Depner/Black Press)

It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

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

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

First called in September by Premier John Horgan, the election is one for the history books with a number of records broken when it comes to voter turnout. Roughly 681,000 people cast their ballot during the seven days of advance voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017.

Meanwhile, 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages had been received by Elections B.C. 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 November for the winner to be declared, once mail-in ballots are counted by Elections B.C. officials after Nov. 6.

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

Polling locations:

Voting places will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.:

Nanaimo

Alliance Church, 1609 Meredith Rd.

Bowen Park Activity Centre, 500 Bowen Rd.

Nanaimo Yacht Club, 400 Newcastle Ave.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256, 1630 E. Wellington Rd.

Fairview Elementary School, 205 Howard Ave.

Departure Bay Activity Centre, 1415 Wingrove St.

Beban Park Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Rd.

Beacon House, 208 Colvilleton Trl.

Departure Bay Baptist Church, 3510 Departure Bay Rd.

Wellington Hall, 3922 Corunna Ave.

Hammond Bay Elementary School, 1025 Morningside Dr.

Rutherford Elementary School, 2840 Hammond Bay Rd.

Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Salvation Army, 505 Eighth St.

George Avenue Elementary School, 625 Georgia Ave.

Chase River Elementary School, 1503 Cranberry Ave.

Cranberry Community Hall, 1555 Morden Rd.

Cedar Community Hall, 2388 Cedar Rd.

North Oyster Elementary School, 13470 Cedar Rd.

Gabriola Island Community Centre, 2200 South Rd.

Parksville-Qualicum

Dover Bay Secondary School, 6135 McGirr Rd.

Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Rd.

Nanaimo North Town Centre, 158-4750 Rutherford Rd.

Costin Hall, 7232 Lantzville Rd.

Nanoose Place, 2925 Northwest Bay Rd.

Candidates running in the ridings:

Nanaimo

Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C. NDP

Lia Versaevel, B.C. Green Party

Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Chris Istace, B.C. Greens

Duck (Don) Paterson, B.C. Liberals

Doug Routley, B.C. NDP

Parksville-Qualicum

Rob Lyon, B.C. Greens

Don Purdey, Conservatives

John St. John, Independent

Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals

Adam Walker, B.C. NDP

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

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani

BC politicsBC Votes 2020