Paper ballot scanners and other new technology allow B.C. voters to go to any available table, reducing lineups when voting. (Elections B.C.)

B.C. aims to register provincial voters starting at age 16

Voting age remains 18, candidates to get access to strata buildings

The B.C. government is moving ahead with changes to how provincial elections are conducted, including the registration of future voters starting at age 16.

Attorney General David Eby introduced changes to the B.C.’s election law Thursday, based on recommendations from B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer, Anton Boegman. Starting voter registration at 16, as is already done for federal voters’ lists, is a way to increase the registration rate for young voters, Eby told the legislature. The voting age remains at 18.

Boegman welcomed the change, which would be in effect for the next scheduled election in October 2021.

“Youth between the ages of 18-24 participate in B.C. provincial elections at a rate much lower than other age groups,” Boegman said. “Enabling 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote represents a significant opportunity to remove administrative barriers to their participation when they turn 18.”

The amendments also give access by provincial candidates and official representatives to strata and co-op apartment buildings, as they already have in rental properties. They can knock on doors and distribute campaign materials as they do with single-family homes and townhouses.

RELATED: Elections B.C. calls recounts in close 2017 votes

RELATED: Voter registration push for electoral reform vote

The changes also require unsuccessful nomination candidates for political parties to file financial disclosures with Elections B.C., as winning candidates have to do.

Other changes include introducing ballot scanners for B.C. elections, similar to the counting machines used in many local government elections. Paper ballots will still be marked, but the scanners allow faster counting.

For people voting outside their home constituency, ballot printers will be available so they don’t have to use a mail-in ballot that arrives later where they would normally vote. The scanners read the ballot and record it automatically for the home constituency, making election-night results more complete.

For snap elections that occur when a minority government is defeated in a confidence vote, the changes allow an extension of the formal voting period of four to 10 days, to make sure the final election day is always on a Saturday.

The amendments also give Elections B.C. access to provincial records to help keep address changes and other information up to date on the voters’ list.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Painting Ourselves Visible group to create mural

A new partnership between Kootenay Gallery of Art and Castlegar Pride

Castlegar Skating Club prepares for regional championships

Watch local skaters on March 11 at 4:30 p.m.

Castlegar council develops policy for question period

Questions must pertain to current agenda items and issues or items of interest to the general public

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read