Voting Is Easy

Voting Place

Pundits and pollsters are still calling the BC Election on Tuesday 9th May too close to call. Either of the traditional left-right parties may win a majority - 44 of the 87 seats.

Or the Greens, who have experienced a late boost following a strong performance by Andrew Weaver in the televised leaders’ debate, will pick up enough seats to hold the balance of power.

All three leaders were considered to have done enough to satisfy their supporters and perhaps have won over some of those who were leaning in their direction. But Weaver who was relatively unknown off Vancouver Island, perhaps gained the most.

I met Weaver a few days after the debate and he said he now couldn’t walk around Vancouver without people recognising him, where before it was like nobody knew who he was.

The “Green Surge”, as Weaver’s camp are dubbing it, has brought out the late negative campaigning in full force.

It seems to have particularly ramped up since revered television scientist David Suzuki (who appears in the film) came out with a ringing endorsement for the BC Greens.

Negative campaigning is usually bad for voter turnout which in turn is bad for democracy.

However, this year there are six, rather than four, advance voting days, giving people even more opportunity to go and fill in a ballot. Today (Friday 5th) is the fifth advance voting day and tomorrow the sixth, before general voting day on Tuesday 9th May.

People are hopefully also getting the message that voting is easy.

If you are a Canadian citizen, living in BC, you can vote, and you can vote anywhere.

All you need is proof of your name and your residential address. A driver’s licence, or even a photograph of your driver’s licence on your phone, meets both of these requirements. A BC Identification Card or Certificate of Indian Status are also sufficient.

If you don’t have those then you need a piece of ID showing your name and a second showing your name and your address.

Student card, library card, student report card, utilities bill, BC CareCard, and even a hospital bracelet are among the long list of documents accepted. You can use your cell phone bill.

You can show the electronic version of your bill on your phone or tablet.

Say you don't have ID?

You can still vote, by having a voter who does have ID and who lives in your electoral district vouch for you. Or by having a family member or carer vouch for you.

Choosing who to vote for might be hard.

Voting itself is easy.

Check Elections BC for more on how to vote.