Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

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 snap election.

First called in September by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, BC Votes 2020 is likely going to be one for the history books, already seeing a number of records broken when it comes to voter turnout.

Roughly 681,000 people cast their ballots during the seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017.

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

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

Polling locations for the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding:

Voting places will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

Aggie Hall-Royal Canadian Air Cadets, 1110 1st Ave., Ladysmith

Bayview Elementary School, 140 View St., Nanaimo

Cedar Community Hall, 2388, Cedar Rd., Ladysmith

Chase River Elementary School, 1503 Cranberry Ave., Nanaimo

Cowichan Exhibition, 7380 Trans-Canada Hwy., North Cowichan

Cranberry Community Hall, 1555 Morden Rd., South Wellington

Crofton Community Centre, 8104 Musgrave St., North Cowichan

Gabriola Island Community Centre, 2200 South Rd., Gabriola Island

Georgia Avenue Elementary School, 625 Georgia Ave.

North Oyster Elementary School, 13470 Cedar Rd., Ladysmith

Penelakut Band Office, 11330 Clam Bay Rd. N, Penelakut Island

Royal Canadian Legion 191, 9775 Chemainus Rd., North Cowichan

Stz’uminus First Nation Community Centre, 3949 Shell Beach Rd., Ladysmith

Salvation Arm, 505 Eighth St., Nanaimo

Thetis Island Fire Hall, 296 Mission Rd., Thetis Island

Candidates running in the riding:

Doug Routley, NDP

Duck Paterson, Liberal

Chris Istace, Green

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