The next time British Columbians head to the polls to vote in a provincial election they’ll see some new changes.
The changes stem from a 2018 report from B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer that recommended several measures to improve the voting process. The Legislative Assembly approved the changes in October 2019. In a news release, the province said the necessary preparations to implement the changes have now been completed.
Some of the changes include allowing Elections BC to use machines to count paper ballots more efficiently — a practice already in use for municipal elections. Election officials will also be able to use electronic voting books to check voter information which will speed up the process for people who choose to vote in person.
Ballot printers will be added to voting stations to help reduce the need for write-in ballots. The printers can create custom ballots with the correct information for any British Columbian’s registered electoral district, allowing voters to cast their ballots anywhere in the province.
Other approved amendments to the Elections Act are already in force, including the extension of the campaign period for unexpected elections and the creation of a list of future voters.