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Campbell River man seeks petition to limit advance voting in B.C.

An initiative petition application has been approved under the Recall and Initiative Act that aims to almost complete eliminate advance voting in British Columbia elections.

The petition is titled Initiative to change voting opportunities in provincial elections, and will be issued to proponent Robert Harvey Bray on Monday, August 9, 2021. He then has 90 days to collect signatures of 10 per cent of registered voters in all 87 ridings to put the matter to a referendum. Signature sheets must be submitted to Elections BC by Monday, November 8, 2021.

The following is a summary of the petition’s legislative proposal:

Currently in a provincial election there are many opportunities to vote before election day, including advance voting and voting by mail. This initiative proposes removing almost all advance voting options and the option to vote by mail. The proposed changes would require almost all voters to vote at their assigned voting place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time) on election day. The draft Bill preserves some absentee voting opportunities, including absentee voting by mail for members of the armed forces and others designated by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Individuals or organizations who intend to oppose the initiative, conduct initiative advertising, or canvass for signatures must be registered with Elections BC. The deadline to apply to be an opponent of the initiative is Monday, July 12, 2021.

Registered voters as of Monday, August 9, 2021 may sign the petition once, and only for the electoral district in which they are registered.

In 2019, Bray brought forward, unsuccessfully, a petition to allow charter schools in B.C. 

Elections BC is the independent, non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for administering the initiative petition process in accordance with the Recall and Initiative Act.

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