October 31, 2019
VICTORIA – Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman has issued the following statement in response to the introduction of Bill 43, Election Amendment Act, 2019:
“In May 2018 my office tabled a report with the Legislative Assembly with several recommendations for legislative change. They included enabling 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and using technology to modernize the voting process. Our recommendations were aimed at improving the accessibility, efficiency, and inclusivity of elections in British Columbia.
“I am pleased to see these recommendations and others being brought forward for legislators to consider. They can now discuss their merits and decide if these changes should move forward.
“In particular, I welcome the opportunity to better engage young people in our elections and democratic process. Youth between the ages of 18-24 participate in B.C. provincial elections at a rate much lower than other age groups. Enabling 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote presents a significant opportunity to remove administrative barriers to their participation when they turn 18.
“Using technology to administer voting and counting also presents a significant opportunity. Key benefits include better service for voters, more efficient data sharing to improve get-out-the-vote efforts, and faster results reporting. These changes can be implemented using proven, secure technology while maintaining voter-marked paper ballots.
“Elections BC will follow the discussion on this Bill in the Legislature with interest.”
Elections BC is an independent, non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for administering electoral processes in B.C. in accordance with the Election Act, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, Recall and Initiative Act, and Referendum Act.