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Westside-Kelowna By-Election Called for July 10, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2013

VICTORIA – A by-election will be held on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 to elect a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the Westside-Kelowna electoral district.  The seat became vacant when Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart resigned on June 11, 2013.

“During the recent general election, more voters took advantage of advance and absentee voting opportunities than ever before” said Keith Archer, Chief Electoral Officer.  “British Columbia offers voters an accessible and flexible electoral process.  Westside-Kelowna voters have many ways to vote from now until General Voting Day.”

Residents of Westside-Kelowna are eligible to vote if they are 18 years of age or older on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, (General Voting Day), they are a Canadian citizen and they have lived in B.C. for the past six months.

During the by-election, voters can vote:

  • At the district electoral office until 4 p.m. on General Voting Day
  • At any advance voting location in the electoral district, Wednesday, July 3, 2013 to Saturday, July 6, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • At any voting place in the electoral district on General Voting Day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • By requesting a Vote by Mail package from the district electoral office or Elections BC

Voter registration for the by-election closes on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at midnight. Voters may register or update their voter information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by phone toll-free at 1-800-661-8683.

Voters may also register or update their voter information when they go to vote.  All voters must prove their identity and residential address before voting or registering when voting.  A list of acceptable identification is available from Elections BC.

The dates, times and locations of advance and general voting opportunities will be posted on the Elections BC website, published in local newspapers, delivered to all Westside-Kelowna households in a by-election pamphlet, and mailed to registered voters in the electoral district on yellow Where to Vote cards.

For more information, visit elections.bc.ca.

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Attachments:             Fast facts – By-election

Contact:
Andrew Watson
Communications Coordinator
Elections BC
Phone: 250-952-6537
Email: Andrew.Watson@elections.bc.ca
Website: elections.bc.ca

Elections BC is a non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for the administration of the Election Act, Recall and Initiative Act, and conduct of referenda under the 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.
  • The Chief Electoral Officer received the warrant for the Westside-Kelowna by-election on June 11, 2013.
  • 194 by-elections have been administered in B.C.; nine 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 March 15, 1989 Nanaimo and Vancouver-Point Grey by-elections,
    • the February 17, 1994 Matsqui and Vancouver-Quilchena by-elections,
    • the October 29, 2008 Vancouver-Burrard and Vancouver-Fairview by-elections, and
    • the April 19, 2012 Chilliwack-Hope and Port Moody-Coquitlam by-elections.
  • There were 44,830 registered voters in the Westside-Kelowna electoral district as of April 23, 2013.
  • Voter turnout in Westside-Kelowna for the 2013 General Election was 49.62% of registered voters (based on the number of registered voters as of April 23, 2013).
  • The last by-elections to be held in B.C. were the April 19, 2012 Chilliwack-Hope and Port Moody-Coquitlam by-elections
    • Voter turnout for the Chilliwack-Hope by-election was 41.12%.
    • Voter turnout for the Port Moody-Coquitlam by-election was 32.07%.