The next municipal election is five months away, but the City of Castlegar has begun to make preparations for voting day.
City council passed three readings of a local government election bylaw on May 2 that will allow mail-in voting and set up several special voting opportunities for the Oct. 15, 2022 election.
The provincial government has recently made changes to mail ballot rules, removing restrictions on who can vote by mail ballot. That has opened the door for local governments to permit mail voting by any registered voter for any reason.
A person wishing to vote by mail must request a mail ballot application and return the completed form within a specified time limit. More information on how to vote by mail will be available closer to the election.
During the 2021 Castelgar byelection, mail-in ballots were allowed due to COVID. Mail-in ballots accounted for roughly nine per cent of the votes cast.
The city has also made provision for three special voting opportunities. Special polls will be held at Castleview Care Centre, Talarico Place and Castlewood Village prior to the general election day.
City staff is estimating the election will cost the city about $40,000, election costs have already been included in the 2022 budget.
The bylaw is scheduled for adoption at the May 16 council meeting.