Tomorrow is byelection day in Kelowna West and the question is not only who will win, but how many voters will show up to cast ballots in the middle of winter after waiting more than six months to finally elect an MLA to replace the now departed former premier Christy Clark.
A total of just 6,141 ballots were cast during six days of advance voting last week, well below the number cast during four days of advance voting prior to last May’s provincial election.
Clark quit politics last August prompting the byelection, but current Premier John Horgan of the NDP held off calling the vote for just about the maximum time possible.
Because Clark was first elected in a byelection that followed the 2013 provincial election, Wednesday’s vote will be the sixth time Kelowna West residents have gone to the polls in the last 4 1/2 years—two provincial byelections, two provincial general elections, a federal election and a municipal election.
Five candidates—Shelley Cook of the NDP, Ben Stewart of the B.C. Liberals, Robert Stupka of the B.C. Green Party, Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo and Mark Thompson of the B.C Conservatives—are running in the byelection.
Tomorrow, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and voting places in West Kelowna will include:
• Powers Creek Community Church
• George Pringle Elementary
• Chief Tomat Elementary on East Boundary Road in West Kelowna
• Lakeview Heights Baptist Church on Alhambra Drive in West Kelowna
• Rose Valley Elementary on Westlake Road in West Kelowna
• The Super 8 West Kelowna Hotel on Westgate Road in West Kelowna
• Westside Alliance Church on Daimler Drive in West Kelowna
In Kelowna they will include:
• Grace Baptist Church
• The Kelowna Curling Club
• First Baptist Church on Bernard Avenue
• St. Pius X Church Hall on Fuller Avenue
Voters in the North Westside community of Killiney Beach will be able to vote at the Killiney Beach Community Hall on Udell Road.
The riding includes West Kelowna, the downtown portion of Kelowna between Okanagan Lake and Glenmore Drive/Spall Road and between Trench Place/Broadway Avenue in the city’s North End and Cadder Avenue/Springfield Road south of the Highway 97. It also stretches north on the west side of the lake as far as the border between the Central Okanagan and North Okanagan regional districts.
To cast a ballot in the byelection, voters must be 18 years of age or older, a resident of the riding, a Canadian citizen and a resident of B.C. for at least the last six months. At the poll, voters must prove their identity with either government of B.C. photo identification, a certificate of Indian status or two pieces of identification that show their name and current address. Voters without identification can have another registered voter vouch for them.
Eligible voters who are not on the current voters list can register or update their information when they vote.
To find more information about where and how to vote, go to the Elections BC’s byelection webpage here.