Elections BC warns some voters may not receive mail-in ballots by advised return date

Oct 13 2020, 2:31 pm

As BC’s provincial election day draws closer, Elections BC said it has received an “unprecedented number of vote-by-mail package requests.”

However, the surge in demand also means “it is possible that voters – especially those who request a voting package this week – will receive their vote-by-mail package after the recommended deadline to return it by mail on October 17,” said Elections BC spokesperson Andrew Watson on Tuesday.

Voters who find themselves in this situation he said, “should plan on returning their package in person to a designated drop-off location, or vote in person during advance voting or on Election Day.”

Those who have requested a vote-by-mail package must destroy it if they choose to vote in person, and should not return the vote-by-mail package to Elections BC, he added.

Watson said that as of October 13, Elections BC has received 680,000 mail-in ballot requests, and 670,033 vote-by-mail packages have been issued to voters.

An estimated 138,500 vote-by-mail packages have already been returned, as well.

He noted that the estimated number of returned packages does not include packages that have been received by Canada Post, and are currently in transit to Elections BC or packages that have been dropped off at a district electoral office, Service BC location, or voting place.

Elections BC must receive completed vote-by-mail packages by 8 pm PST on Election Day: Saturday, October 24. Ballots cannot be mailed day-of.

In the meantime, Watson said Elections BC is “working as fast as possible to process package requests, produce vote-by-mail packages and send them to Canada Post for delivery.”

In the 2017 provincial election, just 6,517 voters cast a ballot by mail.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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