Voting 101: All you need to know to cast your ballot
Published Monday, May 8, 2017 12:53PM PDT Last Updated Monday, May 8, 2017 7:45PM PDT
Whether you are shut-in, don't have government ID or can't get a ride to the polls, Elections B.C. has you covered. Election workers are ready to handle any issues you might have to make voting smooth and simple on Tuesday.
For starters, who can vote?
You have to be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old, and a resident of B.C. for the past six months.
If you don’t have government ID you can use a hydro or phone bill or a credit card statement, anything that can prove your name and address.
“Even bottles from medications can be used because they have quite a bit of information," said Marianna Galstyan, Elections B.C. supervisory officer.
Workers are tapped into a computer system this year so they can look you up and if you’re not in the system they can register you on the spot. The system also prevents voter fraud.
And if you’re not voting in your district, that’s not an issue either.
"It's not a problem. We have another book where we can look up out of district people," explained Katka, an Elections B.C. worker. They also have a list of candidates for each district.
If you’re not in your home district, you’ll be given a blank ballot where you can write either the party name or candidate or both.
In the voting booth, the logistics are spelled out in front of you. Put an “X” or a check mark next to the candidate you want and don’t worry if you go outside the lines a bit, as long as your intention is clear.
You can bring someone with you to help or an election worker can assist, since they’ve taken an oath of privacy.
Interpreters are allowed to come with you as well but they need to sign a special form.
If you’re a shut-in, Elections B.C. has mobile teams to come to you. Political parties also offer rides to voting stations – just call your district.
The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and if your work conflicts, that’s not a problem. By law voters are entitled up four consecutive hours to vote and employers must accommodate you. That doesn’t mean you automatically get four hours paid time off work. For example if your shift starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m., you’d still have four hours to get to the polls before they close. Someone working a longer shift by require paid time away. Just work it out with your boss.
"There's really no excuse for people not to vote and we've seen increasing number of voters in this election," said Galstyan.