B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Anton Boegman (Black Press)

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

Rotating postal strikes are not expected to disrupt delivery of 3.3 million voting packages for B.C.’s proportional representation referendum, Elections B.C. says.

The B.C. North and Interior, and Vancouver Island north of the Malahat are destinations for the first mail-out, along with the city of Vancouver. Voters in those regions should receive their ballot packages by Oct. 26.

The rest of the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria ballots are going out next week, with arrival expected by Nov. 2, said Anton Boegman, Chief Electoral Officer in charge of elections and referendum votes for B.C.

Elections B.C. has an online list of communities with expected delivery dates for packages.

People who haven’t received them by the expected time have until Nov. 23 to contact Elections B.C. to have one sent to them.

RELATED: Premier agrees to referendum TV debate, no date yet

The mass mailing has raised concerns that voting packages may be tossed in recycling and used by someone else. The package is designed to prevent that, with a series of envelopes that voters will need to use.

The completed ballot goes into a “secrecy envelope,” to ensure that there is no identification with votes when they are counted. The secrecy envelope goes into a “certification envelope,” which must bear the signature and date of birth of the voter. The date of birth is the “shared secret” that Elections B.C. uses to verify the vote is coming from the person it was addressed to.

That goes into a third, mailing envelope with postage pre-paid. Completed packages must be received at Elections B.C. by Friday, Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

“If the voting package is returned without a signature or a shared secret, it cannot be considered for counting,” Boegman said.

For those not inclined to trust the postal service, there are more than 60 Service B.C. offices that will have ballot boxes, and an additional eight referendum offices are opening around the Lower Mainland next week.

Boegman said experience with other mail-in referendums suggests that counting will take three to four weeks. That will likely put the announcement of results close to Christmas.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureProportional representation

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

Just Posted

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

The 2020 Rotary Club of Chilliwack Book Sale is moving from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park to allow more room for physically-distanced shopping. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Organizers of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival have decided to end the event after more than 20 years. / Bob Friesen File Photo
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival cancelled – for good

Organizers say the event was so popular that too many people were attending to be sustainable

There are five general voting locations, and two advanced voting locations for the Abbotsford-Missing riding in the district. There are three general voting locations and one advanced-voting location for the Maple Ridge-Mission riding in the District. Elections BC map.
Where to vote in the District of Mission

All locations to vote in the District for the 2020 B.C. election

/ Kevin Mills Photos
PHOTOS: Movie crew transforms downtown Mission

The holidays came erly this year as the movie Cross Country Christmas was filmed downtown

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Most Read