B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. VOTES 2020

Elections B.C. beefs up local teams for surge of mail-in ballots

Nearly half a million mailed ballots have been received

Elections B.C. has added dedicated local teams to handle the record number of mail-in ballots for Saturday’s provincial election, which have to be sent out to all 87 electoral districts to make sure people haven’t voted twice.

If the result is close, individual MLA results and even the overall winning party may not be known on election night, and close counts could be delayed beyond the two-week window after election day that Elections B.C. reserves for final counts.

Polls close at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, and results will be posted at results.elections.bc.ca as advance polling and election-day ballots are. Watch for coverage of the provincial and local results Saturday evening on this Black Press Media website.

Extra local staff are prepared to handle absentee and mail-in ballots in each constituency, Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman said Oct. 23. As of midnight Oct. 22, Elections B.C. had received 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages, about two thirds of the total sent out as voters made arrangements for a surprise election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s too late to mail packages back for counting, but completed mail-in votes can be dropped off at local Elections B.C. offices or polling places on election day.

Because voter identification is checked locally at advance polls and on election day, the mail-in and absentee ballots have to be sent from Elections B.C.’s Victoria headquarters back to each constituency to be checked off against the list of people who voted in person. Due to volume, the usual 13-day window for processing mail-in and absentee ballots may have to be extended beyond Nov. 6 before a final count is conducted. The final count may be delayed in some constituencies, depending on the volume of mail-in and absentee ballots.

RELATED: A quarter of registered voters have already cast ballots

RELATED: Early turnout breaks record as more than a million vote

Due to the volume, Elections B.C. officials intend to post daily totals of mail-in ballots counted. Many of the early ballot packages sent out were write-in ballots, as nominated candidates were not all known. To be valid, write-in votes have to contain the name or party affiliation of the local candidate.

Recounts are conducted if the preliminary count is within 100 votes of being a tie between two candidates. After final counts are completed, candidates have six days to request a judicial recount to examine questionable ballots.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews retrieved the overturned commercial truck from the crash scene on Friday, Nov. 20. Photo: Betsy Kline
UPDATE: Kootenay woman dies in Genelle collision

The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 19.

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Photo: Trail Times
Castlegar man and woman arrested in downtown Trail

Police allege the truck they were in had a stolen licence plate on the rear

USA Today ranked the City of Rossland as its top Canadian ski town, and no. 2 in all of North America, while Nelson was ranked no. 10 overall. Photo: Jim Bailey
Rossland and Nelson rank among top North American ski towns

USA Today ranked two West Kootenay communities among Top 10 Ski Towns in North America

Trail RCMP seized illicit drugs, cash and a weapon following a traffic stop in West Trail on Nov. 18. Photo: Trail RCMP
West Kootenay man, woman face drug charges after traffic stop

Police report that three types of illicit drugs were seized as well as cash and a Taser

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Most Read