It’s officially Election Day in B.C. today Oct. 24, 2020. (Black Press file)

It’s officially Election Day in B.C. today Oct. 24, 2020. (Black Press file)

It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

UPDATE 8 p.m:

The polls are now closed.

Original Story:

It’s officially Election Day in B.C.’s 2020 provincial snap election.

First called in September by B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan, BC Votes 2020 is likely going to be one for the history books, already seeing a number of records broken when it comes to voter turnout.

Roughly 681,000 people cast their ballot during the seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017.

Meanwhile, 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages had been received by Elections BC by Oct. 22, representing 66 per cent of the packages requested.

It is expected that some ridings will see preliminary results as to which candidate will likely take a seat in the B.C. Legislature by the end of day Saturday. Meanwhile, close races will have to wait until mid-November for the winner to be declared, once mail-in ballots are counted by Elections BC officials after Nov. 6.

READ MORE: Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Here’s what you need to know before you vote:

Polling locations:

Voting places will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For residents of Keremeos and the surrounding area, you can vote at the following locations:

Victory Hall at 427 7th Ave, Keremeos

Cawston Community Centre at 2119 Main St, Cawston

Hedley Seniors Centre at 789 Scott Ave, Hedley

Kaleden Community Hall at 320 Lakehill Rd, Kaleden

For residents of Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos and the surrounding areas, you can vote at:

Oliver Community Centre at 6359 Park Dr, Oliver

Okanagan Falls Senior Centre at 1128 Willow St., Okanagan Falls

Okanagan Falls Elementary School at 1141 Cedar St, Okanagan Falls

Sonora Community Centre at 8505 68th Ave, Osoyoos

Inkameep Community Hall at 6046 Sandpoint Rd, Oliver

Candidates running in the riding:

Roly Rusell, BC NDP

Petra Veintimilla, BC Liberal

Darryl Seres, BC Conservative

Arlyn Greig, Wexit BC

Voter registration:

While eligible voters don’t have to register ahead of time to take part in the election, Elections BC recommends British Columbians sign up ahead of time in order to avoid lengthy lineups.

Voters can register or update their information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by calling 1-800-661-8683. Registration closed on Sept. 26.

To be eligible, British Columbians must be able to show one of the following pieces of identification:

  • A B.C. driver’s licence
  • A B.C. Identification Card
  • A B.C. Services Card, with photo
  • A Certificate of Indian Status
  • Another card issued by the B.C. government, or Canada, that shows your name, photo and address

Health rules for voting during COVID-19:

All voting places and district electoral offices will have protective measures in place, including:

  • Physical distancing
  • Capacity limits
  • Election officials wearing personal protective equipment (such as masks and face-visors)
  • Protective barriers
  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • Frequent cleaning of voting stations and frequently touched surfaces
  • Election workers trained on safe workplace guidelines and pandemic protocols

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani

BC politicsBC Votes 2020