A student’s guide to B.C. municipal elections

Elections Local News

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. At least 18 years of age on voting day.
  3. A resident of British Columbia for at least six months before voting day.
  4. A resident of your municipality for at least 30 days prior to voting day.
  5. 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.

Municipality Ballot Information Advanced Voting More information
Victoria
  • 1 Mayor
  • 8 Councillors
  • 9 SD61 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 15 at Victoria City Hall
  • Oct. 10 at Camosun Interurban
  • Oct. 20 at Our Place on Pandora
  • Oct. 17 in the UVic SUB
www.victoria.ca/EN/main/city/municipal-elections.html
Saanich
  • 1 Mayor
  • 8 Councillors
  • 9 SD61 School Trustees
  • 2 SD63 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 at Saanich Municipal Hall and Camosun Interurban
  • Oct. 15 at Saanich Municipal Hall and Saanich Commonwealth Place
  • Oct. 17 at Gordon Head Rec Centre and in the UVic SUB
www.saanich.ca/EN/main/local-government/elections.html
Oak Bay
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 9 SD61 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 17 at Oak Bay Municipal Hall
  • Oct. 17 in the SUB
www.oakbay.ca/municipal-hall/municipal-elections
Central Saanich
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 2 SD63 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10, 13, and 17, at Municipal Hall, 1903 Mount Newton Cross Road
https://www.centralsaanich.ca/municipal-hall/election-information
North Saanich
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 2 SD63 Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 17 at North Saanich Municipal Hall
https://www.northsaanich.ca/Elections
View Royal
  • 1 Mayor
  • 4 Councillors
  • 9 SD61 School Trustees
  • 4 SD62 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 16 at View Royal Town Hall
http://www.viewroyal.ca/EN/main/town/elections.html
Highlands
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 9 SD61 School Trustees
  • 4 SD62 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 at East Fire Hall
  • Oct. 17 at Highlands Community Hall
https://www.highlands.ca/485/Candidates

https://www.highlands.ca/238/2018-General-Local-Election

Esquimalt
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 9 SD61 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 17 at Esquimalt City Hall
https://www.esquimalt.ca/municipal-hall/elections/2018-election
Langford
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 4 SD62 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 17 at Langford City Hall
 https://www.langford.ca/EN/meta/city-hall/municipal-election.html
Sooke
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 4 SD62 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 17 at Sooke Community Hall  
https://sooke.ca/city-hall/local-government/elections/ 
Sidney
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 1 SD63 School Trustee
  • Oct. 10 and 17, Sidney Town Hall
 http://www.sidney.ca/Town_Hall/Elections.htm
Metchosin
  • 1 Mayor
  • 4 Councillors
  • Oct. 10 and 17, Metchosin Municipal Hall
 http://www.metchosin.ca/content/elections-voting
Colwood
  • 1 Mayor
  • 6 Councillors
  • 4 SD62 School Trustees
  • Oct. 10 and 17 at Colwood Municipal Hall
 https://www.colwood.ca/city-hall/municipal-election