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

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

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Suspect arrested after armed robbery in downtown Castlegar

Victim was allegedly threatened with knife and bear spray

Columbia Avenue Redevelopment — Phase 2 will begin in February. Image: City of Castlegar
Construction on the Columbia Avenue Redevelopment Project beginning March 1

Crews will be clearing brush and trees and removing asphalt

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

(file photo)
Nomination packages available for Castlegar byelection

The mayor’s seat and one council seat will be on the ballot

The Skinny Genes Foundation is raising awareness and funds for a rare genetic disorder that claimed both his father and uncle.
NHL players, local businesses help Kootenay man raise funds and awareness for rare genetic disease

Signed NHL jerseys and local business donations up for auction in Skinny Genes Foundation fundraiser

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read