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Kelowna West By-election Called for February 14, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2018

VICTORIA – A provincial by-election has been called for February 14, 2018 in the Kelowna West electoral district.

The seat became vacant when MLA Christy Clark resigned on August 4, 2017. Under the Constitution Act, a by-election must be called within six months after the receipt of a warrant by the Chief Electoral Officer. The warrant was received by the Chief Electoral Officer on August 4, 2017.

Residents of Kelowna West are eligible to vote in the by-election if they are:

  • 18 or older on February 14, 2018,
  • a Canadian citizen, and
  • have lived in B.C. for the past six months.

Eligible voters who are not on the voters list can register or update their information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr until midnight tonight, or by phone at 1-800-661-8683 until 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. They can also register or update their information when they vote.

Advance voting will be available over six days from Tuesday, February 6 to Sunday, February 11. Voters should note that not all advance voting places will be open on all of these days. Advance voting places and the dates they are open will be published on the Elections BC website, in community newspapers, and on Where to Vote cards that will be sent to Kelowna West voters before advance voting starts. All advance voting places are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (local time) and are wheelchair accessible.

General Voting Day is February 14, 2018. Voting places will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time).

Voting is also available at the Kelowna West district electoral office (102B – 1979 Old Okanagan Highway, Westbank, B.C.) from now until 4 p.m. on General Voting Day, and by mail. Vote by mail packages can be requested through the district electoral office, on Elections BC’s website, or by calling 1-800-661-8683.

Vote by mail packages must be returned to the district electoral office before voting closes at 8 p.m. on February 14. Voters with disabilities are encouraged to contact Elections BC for accessible voting opportunities.

All voters must show ID to receive a ballot. Acceptable ID is listed at elections.bc.ca/id.

For more information, visit elections.bc.ca, follow Elections BC on social media, or call 1-800-661-8683.

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Attachment: Backgrounder – Provincial by-elections

Contact:
Andrew Watson
Communications Manager
Elections BC
Phone: 250-387-1709
Email: Andrew.Watson@elections.bc.ca
Website: www.elections.bc.ca

Elections BC is the independent, non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for administering electoral processes in B.C. under the Election Act, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, Recall and Initiative Act and Referendum Act.

BACKGROUNDER
January 17, 2018

BY-ELECTIONS

  • Elections BC administers provincial by-elections under the Election Act, R.S.B.C. 1996.
  • Under the Constitution Act, a by-election must be called within six months of a seat becoming vacant in the Legislative Assembly, unless the seat is vacant due to the recall of the MLA, in which case a by-election must be called within 90 days.
  • The Chief Electoral Officer received the warrant for the Kelowna West by-election on August 4, 2017.
  • 197 by-elections have been administered in B.C.; twelve under the current Act.
  • The first by-election occurred on June 22, 1872 in the Cariboo electoral district following the resignation of MLA Cornelius Booth; three previous by-elections were called in Esquimalt, New Westminster and Cariboo, but no votes were held as the seats were filled by acclamation.
  • A by-election involves a single electoral district, although concurrent by-elections may be held, such as the February 2, 2016 Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by-elections.
  • There were 46,831 registered voters in the Kelowna West electoral district as of January 15, 2018.
  • Voter turnout in Kelowna West for the 2017 General Election was 55.46% of registered voters.
  • The last provincial by-elections held in B.C. were the February 2, 2016 Coquitlam-Burke Mountain and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by-elections
    • Voter turnout for the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain by-election was 21.55%.
    • Voter turnout for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by-election was 23.17%.
  • A by-election was held in the former Westside-Kelowna electoral district on July 10, 2013.
    • Voter turnout for the Westside-Kelowna by-election was 40.84%.