Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

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: POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED.****

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.

Haven’t voted? There’s still time. Here’s what you need to know:

Polling locations:

In PORT ALBERNI:

Echo Centre, 4255 Wallace St.

Port Alberni Friendship Centre, 3555 Fourth Avenue

Alberni Athletic Hall, 3727 Roger Street

Cherry Creek Hall, 3720 Moore Road

Beaver Creek Fire Hall, 6038A Beaver Creek Road

Sproat Lake Fire Hall 3, 7667 Pacific Rim Highway

In COOMBS:

Bradley Centre, 975 Shearme Road

In QUALICUM BEACH:

Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street

In BOWSER:

Lighthouse Community Centre, 240 Lions Way

In FANNY BAY:

Fanny Bay Community Hall, 7793 Island Highway South

In DENMAN ISLAND:

Denman Island Seniors Hall, 1111 Northwest Road

In HORNBY ISLAND:

Hornby Island Community Hall, 4305 Central Road

In CUMBERLAND:

Cumberland Senior Citizens Centre, 2674 Dunsmuir Avenue

In ROYSTON:

Royston Community Hall, 3902 Island Highway South

In NITNAT:

Ditidaht Community Hall, 658 Malachan IR 11 Road

In BAMFIELD:

Bamfield Fire Hall, 352 Pachena Road

In UCLUELET:

Ucluelet Community Hall, 500 Matterson Drive

In TOFINO:

Tofino Community Hall, 351 Arnet Road

In AHOUSAHT:

Ahousaht Administration Building

In HOT SPRINGS COVE:

Hot Springs Cove Band Building, Refuge Cove IR 6, Ahousaht

DISTRICT ELECTORAL OFFICE:

108-3550 Johnston Road, Port Alberni

Polling stations are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

More than 9,500 people voted in advance in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding

Candidates running in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding:

Rob Clarke, BC Libertarian Party

Graham Hughes, Independent

Evan Jolicoeur, BC Greens

Josie Osborne, BC NDP

Helen Poon, BC Liberals

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