All voters will be eligible to cast their ballots by mail in the upcoming municipal and school trustee elections this fall. (Black Press Media file photo)

All voters will be eligible to cast their ballots by mail in the upcoming municipal and school trustee elections this fall. (Black Press Media file photo)

All Saanich Peninsula voters eligible to cast ballots by mail in fall elections

Sidney, North Saanich confirm changes with Central Saanich to follow

All Saanich Peninsula voters in the upcoming municipal and school trustee elections will be eligible to cast their ballots by mail.

Sidney and North Saanich councils gave final approval Monday to local bylaw changes that will allow all eligible electors in those communities to vote by mail in responding to changes in the Local Government Act dating back to the spring of 2021. The corresponding bylaw in Central Saanich stands at third reading but is expected to be adopted in the near future.

Previously, only persons with a physical disability, illness or injury affecting their ability to vote and persons who expected to be absent on general voting day and days with advance voting opportunities could apply to vote by mail ballot.

The changes stemming out of the COVID-19 pandemic experience come with various provisions to ensure public confidence. Voters applying for mail-in ballots are subject to the same identification standards as if they were voting in person, all mail ballot applications will be accessible by scrutineers and once electors have received their respective mail ballot, they will no longer be eligible to receive a ballot at any other voting location.

The nomination period for the upcoming municipal and school trustee elections opens on Aug. 30 and closes on Sept. 9.

Advance voting will take place on Oct. 5 and 12, while the general voting day will be Oct. 15.

Sidney’s chief election officer must receive mail-in ballots at town hall by 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. Arrangements can also be made to hand-deliver the ballot to the Mary Winspear Centre on general voting by 8 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Voter turnout in the last municipal and school trustee elections topped out at 36 per cent in the province, 48 per cent in Sidney, just under 43 per cent in North Saanich and just under 33 per cent in Central Saanich.

RELATED: Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

BC municipal electionSaanich Peninsula