Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Polls close across B.C.

B.C.'s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

  • Oct. 24, 2020 12:00 a.m.

UPDATE: Polls have now closed across British Columbia.

Roughly 681,000 people cast their ballot during the seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017.

Meanwhile, 478,900 returned vote-by-mail packages had been received by Elections BC by Oct. 22, representing 66 per cent of the packages requested.

It is expected that some ridings will see preliminary results as to which candidate will likely take a seat in the B.C. Legislature by the end of day Saturday. Meanwhile, close races will have to wait until mid-November for the winner to be declared, once mail-in ballots are counted by Elections BC officials after Nov. 6. Keep watching abbynews.com for the latest results.

Here’s what you need to know

Ridings

Abbotsford is split between three different ridings. If you live in central Abbotsford south of South Fraser Way, or live anywhere in the city south of Highway 1, you’re in Abbotsford South.

If you live north of South Fraser Way and west of Sumas Way/Highway 11, you’re an Abbotsford West voter.

And if you live east of Highway 11 and north of Highway 1, you’re in the Abbotsford-Mission riding.

Where to vote

You can vote at any polling place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., but it will normally be faster to cast a ballot at your own assigned voting place. That place will be on a card you may have received in the mail. If not, you can use BC Elections’ Where to Vote online map.

What you need to cast a ballot

When you go to vote, things will be a little different in 2020 than normal.

Elections BC says that when you appear at the polling station, you will be asked to show your ID, but not to hand it to an election official. You’ll verbally declare your eligibility rather than signing a voting book.

There are three ways to prove your identity. Click for details.

First, any official card issued by the government of B.C. or Canada that shows your name, photo and address will work. That includes B.C. driver’s licence or B.C. Services Card with photo. A Certificate of Indian Status also suffices.

If you don’t have one of those, you can show two pieces of ID or documents that both show your name. One of those must show your current address.

Finally, you can vote if you have someone to vouch for you. Details on that process can be found here.

• • • • •

Candidates

Find a list of candidates in your riding here.

We also posed in-depth questionnaires to each candidate. Find them below:

Abbotsford South candidate Q&A

Abbotsford West candidate Q&A

Abbotsford-Mission candidate Q&A

Find links to candidates’ social media and web presence’s here.

All-candidates meetings

Virtual all-candidates meetings were held by a group of business organizations for each riding.

Find links to each archived video here.

Or you can read our recaps of each meeting below:

Abbotsford South

Abbotsford South candidates square off on Highway 1, taxation and COVID-19

Abbotsford West

Abbotsford West candidates spar on Highway 1, light rail, housing and snap election

Abbotsford-Mission

Infrastructure projects, COVID-19 recovery biggest points of conflict in Abbotsford-Mission debate

• • • • •

Issues

The biggest local issue during the campaign has been the widening of Highway 1. Both the BC Liberals and the BC NDP have promised to widen the highway to Abbotsford, although the BC NDP’s roll-out of their pledge didn’t go flawlessly. Check out our stories below:

BC Liberals pledge to expand Highway 1 to at least Abbotsford in Rebuild Plan

BC NDP corrects platform after promising to widen wrong highway to Abbotsford

Most recent stories

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B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Elections B.C. beefs up local teams for surge of mail-in ballots

Early turnout breaks records as more than a million people vote ahead of B.C. election

Continue to check abbynews.com for the latest on the election and the subsequent counting of votes. The first results that come in on Saturday will be preliminary only. An official count will come after all mail and advance ballots are cast.

Voter registration:

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 protocols

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani

Abbotsford News

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