Municipal elections don’t happen every day, and since they aren’t frequent, a lot of current students may never have participated in one or, at the very least, could use a brief refresher. Here are a few answers to some of the questions you might have before you cast your ballot in the upcoming election, no matter what municipality you live in.
What district do I live in?
Greater Victoria is comprised of 13 municipalities, including Saanich, Oak Bay, and Victoria. Before you vote you will need to figure out what municipality you live in. Just because you live in Greater Victoria doesn’t actually mean you’ll be voting in the Victoria election! Oct. 20 is the last day to vote in any municipality, so be sure to find out where you should be voting, get out there, and cast your ballot!
To find out which municipality you live in, check out the CRD’s Community Map. In the search bar, enter your mailing address and the name of your municipality will pop up.
How can I tell if I can vote?
To vote in the 2018 municipal election, you need to be:
- On the list of registered B.C. voters. (If you’re not registered, check out your municipality’s website on how to register. While you don’t have to be registered on election day in order to vote, it will make your experience at the voting station all the easier.)
- At least 18 years of age on voting day.
- A resident of British Columbia for at least six months before voting day.
- A resident of your municipality for at least 30 days prior to voting day.
- Not be disqualified from voting by law.
What am I going to be voting for?
When you walk into a voting booth with your ballot, you’ll see a variety of positions that candidates will be running for including Mayor, City Councillor, and School District Trustee. In most municipalities, you will select one candidate for Mayor, between 4 to 8 candidates for City Council, and between 2 to 9 candidates for School District Trustee.
It’s important to thoroughly research candidates in your district beforehand, because it isn’t easy to oust them from office once they’ve been elected. Indeed, pretty much the only thing that you can do to sway a candidate’s vote once they are elected is to petition, show up at council meetings, and regularly contact them on the matters that concern you. That’s a lot of effort to sway a single vote. By doing your research beforehand, you’re more likely to know who to trust with your tax dollars. It isn’t fun, and it may not seem rewarding, but in the long run, it’s far less effort to know exactly who’s representing your interests.
When and where can I vote?
In most municipalities, you can vote as early as Oct. 10, though the official voting day is Saturday, Oct. 20. Depending on which municipality you belong to, voting will be conducted at various locations. If you can’t vote in person due to illness, injury, or impairment, you may be eligible to vote by mail-in ballot. In that case, you’ll want to contact your municipal office.
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