Powell River election officer clears up voting misconceptions

City clerk reminds voters of options and eligibility

When Powell River area voters head to the polls in the coming weeks to elect a new City of Powell River mayor and council, School District 47 trustees and qathet Regional District representatives, they will have options in which to do so.

Although election day is Saturday, October 20, advanced voting for City of Powell River residents takes place Wednesdays, October 10 and 17, from 8 am to 8 pm in the Poplar Room at Powell River Recreation Complex.

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“Anybody who’s allowed to vote can vote on those two days if they prefer,” said city clerk and chief election officer Chris Jackson.

There is also the option to vote remotely with a mail-in ballot for those unable to attend in person. The deadline to submit a mailed request is Friday, October 12. For more information, voters can call the office of the chief election officer at 604.485.8603 or email elections2018@powellriver.ca.

On voting day, electors can vote at any of the following voting places: Recreation Complex (Arbutus Room), Brooks Secondary School, Cranberry Seniors Centre or James Thompson Elementary School.

Jackson previously ran an election in Nanaimo and noted that a misconception he’s heard locally is that residents must own property in order to cast a ballot.

“That question seems to be one I get a lot in Powell River that I didn’t get in Nanaimo,” he said. “Not only do you not have to be a landowner, you don’t have to necessarily have one address in which you live in.”

This can include people who are homeless or do not currently have one fixed address.

“If you are homeless and you swear to a declaration then I have the ability to accept that and you can continue to vote,” said Jackson, adding that these cases are looked at with a degree of scrutiny.

“We do require two pieces of identification but, understandably, not everyone will have that in those situations because there’s no fixed address,” he added. “We have to be really cautious with it, but also respect that the law says that that’s a possibility.”

All voters must be Canadian citizens, 18 years of age and have resided in the province for six months and 30 days in Powell River. However, non-residents who fit the above criteria and have owned property in the community for more than 30 days are also eligible to vote. If the property is owned by more than one person, only one is eligible and must be designated in writing by the majority of the property owners.

Jackson also reminds voters that they are not required to fill in every spot on the ballot.

“If you only know one [candidate] who you really like and you don’t want to throw away other votes on random, just put in the one you want and that’s fine,” he said. “There’s no requirement to fill the maximum.”

For qathet Regional District, Electoral Area A, B and C voters can cast their ballots early on Wednesday, October 10, 8 am to 8 pm, at the regional district office main board room located at 4675 Marine Avenue in Powell River. Tla'amin Nation citizens can vote early for school trustees at the same time and location.

With Sandy McCormick acclaimed as the Electoral Area D director, Texada Island residents can vote early for school trustees at the old Gillies Bay School, 2262 Gillies Bay Road, also from 8 am to 8 pm on October 10.

Early voting for Electoral Area E residents takes place from 8 am to 8 pm at Lasqueti Community Hall on Lasquesti Island.

Regional district and Tla'amin Nation voting locations for general election day are open from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday, October 20.

Electoral Area A voters can cast their ballots at Northside Community Recreation Centre (9656 Larson Road) or Northside Fire Department (8540 Plummer Creek Road).

Electoral Area B residents can vote at the Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association clubhouse at 4356 Myrtle Avenue and Electoral Area C voting takes place at Lang Bay Hall, 11090 Highway 101.

With Sandy McCormick acclaimed as the Electoral Area D director, Texada Island residents can vote for school trustees at Texada Seniors’ Centre (2622 Gillies Bay Road) or Texada Elementary School (106 Waterman Avenue).

Tla’amin Nation citizens can vote for school trustees at the Salish Centre, 4885 Highway 101.

For more information, go to powellriverrd.bc.ca/inside-the-prrd/2018-general-local-elections/voting-opportunities.


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