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

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Representatives of Vernon Rotary Clubs, starting left: Angela Yablonski (Vernon Rotary), Dustin Stadnyk (Kalamalka Rotary), and Michael Wardlow (Silver Star Rotary) present the proceeds from fall fundraising to Anna Dawyd and Laurie Postill (Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail) to help create the Northern Gateway to Okanagan Rail Trail. (Contributed)
Rail Trail boosted by North Okanagan Rotary Clubs

More than $7,400 raised to develop gateway at Kilometre Zero

O’Rourkes Peak Cellars is located in Lake Country, B.C. (Contributed)
Lake Country winery temporarily closes due to possible COVID-19 exposure

The establishment plans to reopen on Dec. 4 after a deep clean

BC NDP’s Harwinder Sandhu was officially sworn in as MLA for Vernon-Monashee Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
‘I’m truly grateful’: Vernon-Monashee MLA officially sworn in

BC NDP Harwinder Sandhu was officially elected Sunday, Nov. 8 after mail-in ballots were counted

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Garage in Kelowna burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

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

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read