Chief Electoral Officer Recommends Election Act Changes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2018
VICTORIA – British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer, has submitted a report to the Legislative Assembly recommending changes to the Election Act.
The recommendations are aimed at increasing the accessibility and efficiency of B.C.’s electoral process. The Chief Electoral Officer has the authority under section 12(2)(a) of the Election Act to recommend amendments to provincial electoral legislation.
Link to report:
The report’s main recommendations are:
- Allow 16- and 17-year-olds who will become eligible to vote to pre-register, so that they will be added to the voters list automatically when they turn 18
- Provide Elections BC with greater access to information held by public bodies to help maintain the voters list
- Use technology to modernize voting and counting administration while maintaining paper ballots
- Make the election period longer in unscheduled general elections to allow more time for candidate nominations, material distribution, staffing, and communicating with voters
The report proposes a new administrative model for voting and counting that could be implemented under any form of electoral system. This model would maintain the accessibility of the current administrative model while eliminating the need for the final count of absentee ballots, which takes place 13 days after General Voting Day under current legislation.
The Chief Electoral Officer recommends establishing a legislative committee to work towards implementing the proposed administrative model over the next three to six years.
Elections BC is a non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for administering electoral processes in British Columbia in accordance with the Election Act, Recall and Initiative Act, Referendum Act and the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.