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40th Provincial General Election is Underway

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2013

VICTORIA – The election period for British Columbia’s 40th Provincial General Election began today with the dissolution of the Legislature and the issuance of a writ of election to each of the 85 District Electoral Officers throughout the province.  

“British Columbia has the most accessible voting system in Canada” says Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer. “Voting starts now and we’re encouraging voters to take advantage of their opportunities to cast a ballot.”

Voting at district electoral offices is available from now until 4 p.m. on General Voting Day, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. 

Voters who are going to be out of the province during these four weeks can ask their District Electoral Officer for a Vote by Mail package. 

Advance voting is available from 8 am. to 8 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday, May 8 through Saturday, May 11, 2013.  All advance voting locations are wheelchair accessible and all voters can vote at any advance voting location in the province. 

General voting is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time) on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.  All voters can vote at any general voting location in the province. 

General voter registration is available until April 23, 2013 either online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by phone at 1-800-661-8683.  Voters can also register when they go to vote.  Voters registered before April 23 will get a Where to Vote card in the mail before the start of advance voting.  

All voters must prove their identity and residential address to get a ballot. A list of acceptable identification is available on Elections BC’s website (elections.bc.ca). 

Candidate nominations close at 1 p.m. (Pacific time) on Friday, April 26, 2013. 

For more information about the 40th Provincial General Election, visit the Elections BC website at elections.bc.ca, call toll-free at 1-800-661-8683, join us on facebook, follow us on Twitter, and watch us on YouTube.  Look for more information in mailboxes April 22-26 and in local newspapers throughout the next four weeks. 

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Attached:  Fast Facts 

Contact:
Don Main
Communications Manager
Elections BC
Phone: 250-387-1709
Email: electionsbc@elections.bc.ca 
Website: elections.bc.ca 

Fast Facts

GENERAL ELECTIONS 

  • The first Provincial General Election was held from October through December 1871[i]
    • 25 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) were elected
    • 12 electoral districts
    • 46 candidates
    • Less than 3,000 registered voters
  • The 39thProvincial General Election was held May 12, 2009
    • 85 electoral districts (1 MLA elected in each district)
    • 345 candidates
    • 3,238,737 total estimated eligible voters
    • 2,995,465 registered voters
    • 1,651,567 total registered voters who voted
    • Included the second Referendum on Electoral Reform
  • The 40thProvincial General Election – May 14, 2013
    • 85 electoral districts (1 MLA for each district)
    • Candidate nominations close at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 26
    • 3,310,218 total estimated eligible voters (BC Stats, Oct 1, 2012)
    • 3,110,267 total registered voters (April 15, 2013) 

Special voting opportunities

District Electoral Officers may establish special voting opportunities to assist eligible voters who wish to vote but are unable to attend an advance voting location, or a general voting place on General Voting Day.  Locations that are typically served by special voting opportunities include acute-care hospitals, mental health facilities, remote communities or work camps, long-term care facilities and correctional centres. 

Elections BC has contacted 78 Correctional Service of Canada facilities across Canada and nine B.C. Corrections facilities to provide voter registration and voting information.  

Elections BC has contacted Canadian Forces to provide voter registration and voting information to B.C. residents serving away from home. 

Elections BC provides special voting opportunities to staffed lighthouses on B.C.’s coast.

Translated materials

Elections BC provides voter registration and information materials at voting places in 16 languages: English, Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Traditional, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.  All voting materials are provided in English. 

Voters with disabilities

All advance voting locations are wheelchair accessible.  A Braille list of candidates and a voting template is available for voters with vision impairments.