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Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain By-Election called for February 2, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 5, 2016

VICTORIA – By-elections will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 to elect two Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA); one for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district, and one for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain.

The seats became vacant when MLA Jenny Kwan resigned on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, and MLA Doug Horne resigned on Friday, August 14, 2015. Under the Constitution Act, a by-election must be called within six months after the receipt of the warrant by the Chief Electoral Officer. The warrants were received by the Chief Electoral Officer on July 13, 2015 and August 17, 2015.

Residents of the electoral districts will be eligible to vote in the by-elections if they are 18 years of age or older on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 (General Voting Day), they are Canadian citizens and they have lived in B.C. for the past six months.

Voters can register or update their voter information when they go to vote. Voters must prove their identity and place of residence before voting or registering when voting. The types of identification that can be used are detailed on the Elections BC website at elections.bc.ca/index.php/voting/voter-identification.

Voters may vote at the district electoral offices during regular hours from now until 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 2, 2016 (General Voting Day).

Advance voting is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, January 23; Sunday, January 24; and Wednesday, January 27 through Saturday, January 30, 2016. Information including dates, times and locations of advance and general voting will be posted on the Elections BC website, published in local newspapers, contained in a by-election pamphlet delivered to all electoral district households, and in Where to Vote information packages mailed to registered voters.

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Attachment: Fast facts – By-election

Contact:

Shannon Whissell
Communications Coordinator
Elections BC
Phone: 250-356-9056
Email: Shannon.Whissell@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.


FAST FACTS – BY-ELECTION

  • Elections BC administers 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.
  • 192 by-elections have been administered in B.C.; ten under the current Act.
  • The first by-election occurred on June 22, 1872 in the Cariboo electoral district following the April 23, 1872, 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 April 19, 2012 Port Moody-Coquitlam and Chilliwack-Hope by-elections.
  • The Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district has 39,991 registered voters as of January 4, 2016, and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain electoral district has 38,101 registered voters as of January 4, 2016.
  • Voter turnout in the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district in the 2013 General Election was 49.8% of registered voters, and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain electoral district was 53.2% of registered voters.
  • The last by-election to be held in B.C. was the July 2013 Westside-Kelowna by-election
    • Voter turnout during the 2013 by-election was 40.8%.
  • Voters who are entitled to vote in a by-election, but who are outside their electoral district during advance voting or on General Voting Day may vote by mail.
    • Amendments to the Election Act by the Election Amendment Act, 2015 apply to these by-elections, including:Two more days of advance voting on the Saturday and Sunday two weeks before General Voting Day.
    •  “Get out the vote” messages are permitted on General Voting Day.