Nearly 1,100 Nanaimo residents cast ballots in advanced poll

NANAIMO – Residents are being asked whether they support borrowing $80 million for an events centre.

Nearly 1,100 people cast their votes last week during the first advanced voting day for the proposed event centre referendum, the City of Nanaimo reports.

Nanaimo residents are voting this month whether to borrow up to $80 million for construction of a proposed event centre at 1 Port Dr. There are two advanced voting opportunities before the general voting day on March 11, with the first last Wednesday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre where almost 1,100 ballots were cast. The next advanced voting is Wednesday (March 8), from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the conference centre.

The preliminary results won’t be tabulated until the polls close on March 11 and will be available that evening on the city’s website.

“It was a really great turn out, it was positive, the day went really really well so we’re just expecting it to go just as well next Wednesday and on the 11th,” said Sheila Gurrie, chief elections officer, who encourages everyone to get out and vote.

Gurrie said she’s responded to a few people about identification. While people are not being asked for identification if they’re already on the voter’s list, with computer check in, once voters have given their name and address, they’ll be prevented from being able to vote at another location. People will also have to sign beside their name and address, effectively swearing a declaration they are who they say they are.