Advance poll elector turnout bodes well for the level of citizen participation in the 2014 local government election.
The last day of advance voting, November 12, in Lake Country saw another 367 people stopping by Municipal Hall to cast their vote for Mayor and Council. Added to the 191 that voted November 5 makes a total of 558 of the 9,315 estimated eligible voters in Lake Country that came out to have their say in the advance poll opportunity.
In the 2011 local government election there were a total of 2691 casting their votes. 2014 General election day is Saturday, November 15 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. in the community gym at George Elliot Secondary School, and BC Transit is even offering free public transit all day to help people get out to the polls.
“Some people were surprised that we don’t just tick their name off of a pre-existing voters’ list and that the voter registration process takes a few minutes,” says Reyna Seabrook, Chief Election Officer.
“The elector registration takes place at the time of voting; so voters need to bring two pieces of ID, at least one with a signature, to the polling station to prove residency and identity. Some of the elections staff we’ve hired this year also worked the 2011 election, so they are pretty quick about explaining the process and recording the voter specifics so people can get on to filling out their ballot. All in all it is a smooth process and most people enjoy the opportunity to connect with neighbours and friends while they are waiting their turn.”
Qualified voters must be: at least 18 years old on voting day, a Canadian citizen, must have lived in BC for at least six months before voting day, and lived or owned property in Lake Country for at least 30 days before voting day.
“It was good to see a diverse cross-section of the community taking advantage of the Advance poll opportunity,” says Seabrook.
“It is a good option – not just for people that will be out of town on election day – but for anyone that wants a little more time or some assistance in voting. We also offer curbside voting on election day where an election official will bring the ballot outside to an individual’s vehicle if they are unable to come inside. This election we also had a prearranged voting opportunity for residents on-site at a seniors’ home during the first Advance Poll day, November 5.”