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Voting Modernization

Elections BC is preparing to incorporate new technology in time for the next scheduled provincial general election on October 16, 2021.

Elections BC received a letter on July 3, 2019 from Attorney General David Eby indicating the BC government’s intention to introduce legislation to act on Elections BC’s voting modernization recommendations. Read the letter here.

Subject to the legislation being approved by the Legislative Assembly, voting modernization will improve the voting experience for British Columbians, making voting faster and improving accessibility. It will also speed up results and provide more timely participation information to support get-out-the-vote efforts.

The main technologies that will be adopted are electronic poll books and ballot tabulators to replace the current manual voting administration and counting processes. British Columbia’s “vote anywhere” model and paper ballots will be maintained.

Key benefits of voting modernization through the use of new technology include:

  • Improving voter service through a “bank-teller” service model which allows first-come, first-served voting and reduces wait times
  • More timely provision of voter participation data
    • Real-time strike-off for most voters
    • Close to real-time participation data from most voting opportunities
  • Faster results
    • Counting almost all votes on election night and greatly reducing the number of absentee ballots counted at final count
    • Reporting initial count results shortly after the close of voting for most voting locations

For more information, read the Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on Recommendations for Legislative Change – May 2018. The report includes a discussion of the benefits of incorporating technology in elections in British Columbia, preliminary information on how technology in the voting place could work and early cost estimates.

Elections BC is currently conducting detailed analysis on the proposed voting model and associated costs, pending legislative change. Due to security concerns, internet voting is not being considered as part of voting modernization. Read more about internet voting in the Independent Panel on Internet Voting Recommendations Report to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia – February 2014.