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

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read