A small, but steady stream of voters are cycled through the Smithers Curling Club this morning (Oct. 15) as advanced polling for the 2020 provincial election began.
Voters are entering through the main entrance of the club and being directed to exit through the back after they cast their ballot.
Inside, there are three voting stations and the number of voters inside at any given time is being limited to six. People are being asked to sanitize hands and wear a mask as they enter. Hand sanitizer and masks are available onsite.
Election workers are protected by PPE and plexiglas shields at each of the voting stations. Single use golf pencils are available to each voter.
The advance voting place in Smithers is open daily from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with Election Day on Oct. 24.
In the Stikine riding advance polling will also take place in New Hazelton Oct. 16 to Oct. 19, and in Stewart, Atlin and Dease Lake Oct. 16 to Oct. 17.
You do not need to have a reason to vote in advance.
Elections BC had received roughly 670,000 vote-by-mail package requests as of Oct. 14. There are 3.48 million registered voters in B.C.
Advance polling locations for Stikine riding:
Smithers: Smithers Curling Club, 4216 Third Ave., Thursday Oct. 15 to Wednesday Oct. 21
New Hazelton: New Hazelton Community Centre, 4633 10th Ave., Friday Oct. 16 to Monday Oct. 19
Stewart: King Edward Hotel, 405 5th Ave., Friday Oct. 16 and Saturday Oct. 17
Atlin: Atlin Recreation Centre, Sinclair Ave., Friday Oct. 16 and Saturday Oct. 17
Dease Lake: Dease Lake Community Hall, 2102 1st Ave., Friday Oct. 16 and Saturday Oct. 17
Candidates running in Stikine (in alphabetical order by last name):
Nathan Cullen, BC New Democratic Party
Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party
Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals
Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage Party
While eligible voters don’t have to register ahead of time to take part in the election, Elections BC recommends British Columbians sign up ahead of time in order to avoid lengthy lineups.
Voters can register or update their information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr or by calling 1-800-661-8683. Registration closed on Sept. 26.
To be eligible, British Columbians must be able to show one of the following pieces of identification:
- A B.C. driver’s licence
- A B.C. Identification Card
- A B.C. Services Card, with photo
- A Certificate of Indian Status
- Another card issued by the B.C. government, or Canada, that shows your name, photo and address
Health rules for voting during COVID-19:
All voting places and district electoral offices will have protective measures in place, including:
- Physical distancing
- Capacity limits
- Election officials wearing personal protective equipment (such as masks and face-visors)
- Protective barriers
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Frequent cleaning of voting stations and frequently touched surfaces
- Election workers trained on safe workplace guidelines and pandemic protocol
– with files from Ashley Wadhwani