ELECTION 2014: More than 1,000 vote in advance polls in Mission

DISTRICT OF MISSION: General election day for local government is Nov. 15

More people have voted in advanced polls this year, compared to the last election in 2011.

According to Mission’s chief electoral officer, a total of 1,076 ballots were cast over two days on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. The first voting opportunity brought in 373 votes, and the second, 703.

In 2011, 817 ballots were cast in advance polls.

The votes will not be tallied until after all polls close on voting day.

The general election day for local government across B.C. is Saturday, Nov. 15. In Mission, voters will be electing one mayor, six councillors, and four trustees for the school board.

There are 24,778 eligible voters in Mission this year, said Tina Penney, chief election officer for the District of Mission.

You are qualified to vote in Mission if you are a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age on voting day, have lived in BC for at least six months, and have lived in Mission for at least 30 days before the election.

In the last municipal election in 2011, about 30 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot. The provincial average is between 20-25 per cent, said Penney, who is encouraging all voters to participate.

“It’s your community,” said Penney. “(Municipal government) is the grassroots level of government closest to the people.”

Voting is also a way to engage in the community, Penney added. She is also encouraging parents to bring their young children along to see how the process works, even if they can’t vote.

There are eight voting locations in Mission and residents can vote at any one of them.

“We do not put out voting cards or designate you vote at one place,” said Penny. “The spirit of that is to have a higher voter turnout.”

Residents can vote at the location most convenient for them.

The eight locations are:

• Albert McMahon Elementary School, 32865 Cherry Ave.

• West Heights Elementary School, 32065 Van Velzen Ave.

• Hatzic Secondary School, 34800 Dewdney Trunk Rd.

• Mission Central Elementary School, 7466 Welton St.

• Silverdale Elementary School, 29715 Donatelli St.

• Fire Hall 2, 30514 Dewdney Trunk Rd.

• Cherry Hill Elementary School, 32557 Best Ave.

• Leisure Centre, 7650 Grand St.

Voting stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Penney is also reminding everyone campaigning is prohibited within 100 metres of the voting locations during election day. Anyone who is wearing campaign buttons will be asked to remove them, said Penny.

Penney noted the results should start rolling in shortly after the polls close at 8 p.m.

Council chambers will be open to the public on election night for those who want to watch the results come in. Results will also be posted on the district’s website throughout the night.

Penney expects a new mayor and council, and school board trustees will be named around 9 p.m.