Paper ballot scanners and other new technology allow B.C. voters to go to any available table, reducing lineups when voting. (Elections B.C.)

Paper ballot scanners and other new technology allow B.C. voters to go to any available table, reducing lineups when voting. (Elections B.C.)

B.C. aims to register provincial voters starting at age 16

Voting age remains 18, candidates to get access to strata buildings

The B.C. government is moving ahead with changes to how provincial elections are conducted, including the registration of future voters starting at age 16.

Attorney General David Eby introduced changes to the B.C.’s election law Thursday, based on recommendations from B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer, Anton Boegman. Starting voter registration at 16, as is already done for federal voters’ lists, is a way to increase the registration rate for young voters, Eby told the legislature. The voting age remains at 18.

Boegman welcomed the change, which would be in effect for the next scheduled election in October 2021.

“Youth between the ages of 18-24 participate in B.C. provincial elections at a rate much lower than other age groups,” Boegman said. “Enabling 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote represents a significant opportunity to remove administrative barriers to their participation when they turn 18.”

The amendments also give access by provincial candidates and official representatives to strata and co-op apartment buildings, as they already have in rental properties. They can knock on doors and distribute campaign materials as they do with single-family homes and townhouses.

RELATED: Elections B.C. calls recounts in close 2017 votes

RELATED: Voter registration push for electoral reform vote

The changes also require unsuccessful nomination candidates for political parties to file financial disclosures with Elections B.C., as winning candidates have to do.

Other changes include introducing ballot scanners for B.C. elections, similar to the counting machines used in many local government elections. Paper ballots will still be marked, but the scanners allow faster counting.

For people voting outside their home constituency, ballot printers will be available so they don’t have to use a mail-in ballot that arrives later where they would normally vote. The scanners read the ballot and record it automatically for the home constituency, making election-night results more complete.

For snap elections that occur when a minority government is defeated in a confidence vote, the changes allow an extension of the formal voting period of four to 10 days, to make sure the final election day is always on a Saturday.

The amendments also give Elections B.C. access to provincial records to help keep address changes and other information up to date on the voters’ list.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Kindergarten class out learning some basic safety and biking skills on Spirit North Day. (Rachelle van Zanten photo/Lakes District News)
Spirit North’s after school program for spring and summer begin

The Spirit North’s after-school program at Morris Williams Elementary school has been… Continue reading

Indigenous count crucial to determining services

Pandemic protection measures in place for Indigenous communities

Kenny Olson in the bakery department where he worked for the past two years. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community bids adieu to Kenny Olson

Retirement beckons after 40 years with Overwaitea/Save-On Foods

Beth Berlin with Lisa Cant after administering vaccines at the one-day walk-in clinic in Burns Lake last week. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake health area sees 50 per cent immunized population

Unknown when further clinics may be held

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read