Today, Friday, May 29, is the last chance to submit your vote in the transit plebiscite, and all ballots must be hand-delivered in order to arrive at the elections office no later than 8 p.m. tonight.
As of Wednesday, only 45 per cent of ballots had been returned in Metro Vancouver. During a Thursday press conference, Mayor Gregor Robertson hinted that he regretted the decision to offer the mail-in ballot system over a long period of time, saying that it was a “unique and challenging approach that may have excluded some people, particularly young people who may have never mailed anything in their lives.”
Ballots were mailed out in mid-March, giving residents over two months to drop their votes in a mailbox.
Even though the transit plebiscite has been marketed as a referendum by some media and even City Hall, the two terms are not interchangeable.
According to B.C.’s provincial laws, a referendum is a legally binding public vote on a matter of public interest. This means the government that initiated the referendum must take necessary action that changes or implements new legislation and programs in response to the result of a vote.
In contrast, a plebiscite gauges public opinion on a matter of public interest but the results of the referendum are not binding on the government to act upon, theoretically saying that this year’s vote is a glorified and expensive opinion poll.
Stop by any of these locations with your ballot today to submit your vote:
Please note that all transit plebiscite offices are open during mall hours, with the exception of Friday, May 29 when ballots must be in by 8 p.m.
Capilano Mall (North Vancouver)
Central City Mall (Surrey)
Chinatown Plaza (Vancouver)
City Square Shopping Centre (Vancouver)
Coquitlam Centre (Coquitlam)
Haney Place Mall (Maple Ridge)
Lougheed Town Centre (Burnaby)
Richmond Centre Mall (Richmond)
Willowbrook Shopping Centre (Langley)