Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Received a write-in ballot for B.C.’s 2020 election? Here is what you need to know

Close to 500,000 British Columbians have so far requested mail-in ballots

If you were one of the nearly 500,000 British Columbians who have requested a mail-in ballot to vote in the upcoming snap election, chances are your ballot will look different than in years past.

Anyone who requested a voting package before Oct. 2 – before candidate nominations closed to be finalized – will have to vote for their future MLA by using a write-in ballot.

This means that instead of having the candidates in the riding listed as multiple choice options, a voter will have to write in the name of the candidate or party themselves.

While spelling mistakes are not grounds for rejecting a write-in ballot as long as the intention of the voter is clear, Elections BC suggests making sure to confirm the candidate or party of preference is running in your electoral district, otherwise the vote will be considered “spoiled” and won’t be counted.

“A vote for a party leader will not be counted unless they are a candidate in your electoral district,” Elections BC explained.

In an emailed statement to Black Press Media, director of communications Andrew Watson said that 494,000 mail-in ballots had been requested as of Friday morning (Oct. 2).

Write-in ballot sample. (Elections BC handout)

Elections BC will start sending ordinary ballots to those who request a mail-in ballot as soon as possible once the list of candidates is finalized.

“This means that some voters who have already requested a vote-by-mail package will get an ordinary ballot, because there is a lag between when we receive a request and when the package is assembled and sent to the voter,” Watson said.

Voters have until General Election Day on Oct. 24 to request a mail-in ballot, however the filled out ballot must be returned to a polling station, collection centre or sent to Elections BC no later than 8 p.m. that Saturday.

To vote by mail, British Columbians must request a voting package at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by phone at 1-800-661-8683.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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