Make sure you vote. To find out more about the services available to voters with special needs, view the six-minute Meeting your Needs video on the Elections BC website.
Advance voting – Voters who need extra time or assistance to register or vote are encouraged to vote during the advance voting period. Advance voting takes place over four days and is usually less busy than election day. All advance voting places are wheelchair accessible. Advance voting is available Wednesday, May 6 to Saturday, May 9, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (local time). General Voting Day is May 12, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time).
Vote by mail – Voters who are unable to visit a general or advance voting location may vote by mail. A Vote by Mail package can be requested now at www.elections.bc.ca or from any district electoral office after their offices open on April 6. District Electoral Officers will begin sending packages to voters after the election is called on April 14.
Curbside voting – Voters who arrive at a voting place but are unable to enter due to an illness or injury, or because of the building design, may vote at curbside. The voter simply needs to alert an election official upon their arrival and voting can be administered outside the voting place.
Voters should register before the election is called. This will reduce the time needed to vote and will cut down on paper work at the voting place. Until April 21, voters can register online at www.elections.bc.ca or by phone at 1-800-661-8683 or 1-888-456-5448 (TTY). The online voter registration system is compatible with screen reading software and meets W3C standards.
The Information Officer is the Elections BC official who greets voters at the voting place. Information Officers have received special training in assisting voters with disabilities. Voters who want help with voting should identify themselves to the Information Officer.
Making a Mark
If a voter makes a mistake when marking a ballot, the voter can return the ballot to the election official and get a replacement. Voters are encouraged to get a replacement ballot if they are unsure whether their intention is clear on their marked ballot.
Election officials have taken an oath of secrecy and can assist voters to sign voting documents and to mark their ballots. Voters can also ask a friend or relative to assist them.
Voters with Visual Impairments
A plastic ballot template is available for voters with visual impairments. The template holds the ballot firmly in place and has holes that expose the marking area for each candidate, alongside raised numeric and Braille numbers. This template works for both the election ballot and the referendum ballot. Voters have several options to review the ballot:
1. Voters can view a poster-sized large-type list of candidates
2. Braille readers can use a Braille list of candidates
3. An election official can read the order of the candidates on the ballot to the voter who can then decide who to vote for
With the plastic template and knowing the order of the candidates, voters with visual impairments can vote independently.
Need more information?
Elections BC has a toll-free phone line and TTY service (see Register now, above) to provide personal assistance to voters
For more information visit Elections BC’s website at www.elections.bc.ca or contact Kenn Faris, Manager, Event Communications at Kenn.Faris@elections.bc.ca or 250-387-2949.