JUST ASK ANGIE
How do I get information and vote in this year’s municipal elections?
Yes, our local (municipal) elections are coming up on Saturday Oct. 15, and there are a few details to know!
WHO YOU ARE VOTING FOR
During this vote, we will vote in mayors and councillors, or directors, (depending on where you live), as well as a selection of school trustees (the number of these varies depending on your region.) ***Note in many parts of the SCRD you may already know who your incoming director is, if they are unopposed by any other candidates.
You can vote if you are a “resident elector” (ie. a resident who lives in say, Halfmoon Bay) or as a “non-resident elector” (ie. you own property in Gibsons but live elsewhere in the province) and: you are are a Canadian citizen; 18 years of age or more on general voting day; have lived in B.C. for at least six months before you register to vote; have lived in the region you plan to vote in for 30 days or more before you register to vote; and are not disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.
***If you are a non-resident elector, check in with your local municipality or the SCRD as there is some paperwork to fill out in advance and each area has different procedures/timing on how/when you must do this.
HOW TO VOTE
To vote there are three options: You can do a mail-in ballot (as long as it arrives by 8 p.m. on Oct. 15 – check with your region to understand the details of how to get your ballots etc.); you can vote in advance polls – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5; or you can vote 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on actual voting day, which is Saturday Oct. 15.
To vote (in advance polls or on voting day,) you will need two pieces of ID. One piece must have your signature. The other should have your address. If you do not have an address/if your ID does not show your address, you can make a “solemn declaration” as to your residency in that area. Examples of ID not only include things like bank cards or driver’s license, you can also use a utility bill, firearms Possession and Acquisition License and many other documents considered as ID. This includes documents deemed sufficient by the Chief Election Officer, or designate. Give your region a call in advance if you’re not sure about the ID you have, or check their voter FAQ online so you can arrive with everything you need.
WHERE TO VOTE
The SCRD’s website says: “Voting place locations will be advertised in local newspapers and posted [on the voting section of the website], once an election has been declared by the Chief Election Officer.” If you would like more information about voting locations near you in the SCRD for advance and day-of voting, use the contact information for the SCRD at the end of this article.
In Gibsons, all in-person voting for advance polls and election day voting happens at the Gibsons & Area Community Centre (700 Park Road).
In Sechelt, in-person voting options are: Advance polls at the Sechelt Library/Municipal Hall, main floor (5797 Cowrie Street). On voting day you can vote at: Davis Bay Elementary (5078 Davis Bay Road); Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre, (5604 Trail Avenue); or West Sechelt Elementary, (5609 Mason Road).
Note: If you are unsure if you should vote in SCRD elections versus say, the Town of Gibsons or District of Sechelt elections, there are maps that can help you interpret this information on regional websites listed next, or call or email the elections contacts in each region, which I’ve also listed.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
To get more voting information for your region, here are some websites and contacts:
If you live in the SCRD: scrd.ca/elections, Call: Chief Election Officer Sherry Reid at 604-885-6825 or Deputy Chief Election Officer Jennifer Hill at 604-885-6813. Email email@example.com. The SCRD also has an interactive site at letstalk.scrd.ca/elections where you can send them your questions.
If you live in the District of Sechelt: sechelt.ca/City-Hall/Elections, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Call: Chief Election Officer Jo-Anne Frank 604-740-8455 and Deputy Chief Election Officer Kerianne Poulsen at 604-740-8479.
If you live in the Town of Gibsons: gibsons.ca/government/elections/municipal-election-2022, contact Chief Election Officer Rebecca Anderson at email@example.com or 604.886.2274, as well as Deputy Chief Election Officer Tracey Hincks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-886-2274.
In terms of who to vote for, while it’s fun to guess at the slate of candidates by playing “I spy” with roadside signs, complete lists of who’s running in each area should be listed on each region’s website. There is also a website called “civic info BC” (bc.localelections.ca) that lists all the candidates’ contact information, by region, in case you want to get in touch with your local candidates. There have been ongoing “all candidates meetings” with lots of the candidates up and down the Coast, and ongoing coverage of these are on the Coast Reporter’s webpage under their “news” tab and select the “civic election 2022” category. As well, give your candidates a search in Facebook, give them a Google, and I’m sure you will have some reading ahead of you!
More questions after reading this article? Visit your region’s voting info webpage or simply contact your local elections coordinators or the candidate directly. Among other things, that’s what they are there for! Still confused? Call us at the Resource Centre! We will do our best to help you figure it out!
ABOUT ASK ANGIE
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2pm. Contact us: email@example.com or 604-885-4088.