2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform

British Columbia is having a referendum on what voting system we should use for provincial elections. The referendum is being held by mail from October 22 to November 30, 2018. Registered voters will get a voting package in the mail from Elections BC between October 22 and November 2, 2018.

Rotating Strikes at Canada Post

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has announced rotating strikes. Rotating strikes have not impacted the delivery schedule for referendum voting packages at this time. The referendum voting period is October 22 to November 30 and this has not changed as a result of the rotating strikes.

Elections BC is monitoring the situation closely, and the Chief Electoral Officer has the authority to extend the voting period for the referendum if necessary, should job action at Canada Post materially impact the referendum process. Any changes will be communicated with the public.

Voter’s Guide

Elections BC is mailing a referendum voter’s guide to every household in B.C. between October 15 and 26, 2018. The guide covers how to vote in the referendum and information about all four voting systems on the referendum ballot.

What can I do now to get ready for the referendum?

Make sure your voter information is up to date, especially if you’ve never registered to vote, moved recently, or changed your name. This will help make sure you get your referendum voting package in the mail between October 22 and November 2, 2018. You can make sure your voter information is up to date by:

  • visiting elections.bc.ca/ovr, or
  • calling 1-800-661-8683 (Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

You can also get informed to help make your decision. Refer to the neutral information on our website about the characteristics of each voting system on the ballot, and get information from all sides in the debate.

The Attorney General of British Columbia released a recommendations report about the referendum and the voting systems on the ballot. Read the report here.

Who can vote in the referendum?

You can vote in the referendum if you are:

  • a Canadian citizen,
  • 18 or older as of November 30, 2018, and
  • a resident of B.C. for at least six months immediately before November 30, 2018.

Important dates

Referendum campaign period
Referendum advertising is regulated during this period
July 1, 2018 – November 30, 2018
Voting period
Voting packages are distributed and returned
October 22, 2018 – November 30, 2018
Voting packages mailed to registered voters October 22, 2018 – November 2, 2018
Referendum Service Offices open November 5, 2018
Voters can ask for a voting package November 3, 2018 – November 23, 2018
Deadline to ask for a voting package Midnight, Friday, November 23, 2018
Elections BC must receive your ballot by this deadline 4:30 p.m. (local time), Friday, November 30, 2018