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Plenty of options for who and how to vote

It is now less than two weeks from the official date for the federal election.

And even though the advance polls don’t start until Sept. 10 (Friday) and are open until Sept. 13 (Monday), some people have already voted.

You may have already voted by mail or at an Elections Canada office, using the special ballot process. This is basically a blank ballot, on which you write the name of the person you want to vote for. You can write the name of their party as well, but you can’t just write a party name on the special ballot.

Whether you’re voting by mail or at an Elections Canada office, you’re not finished when you write the candidate name on the ballot. Now, you place that ballot inside an envelope provided, seal it and sign it.

Then it either goes into a ballot box at the Elections Canada office or into the mail. Note that you have to apply to vote by special ballot by Sept. 14, your ballot still has to be received by the close of the polls on Sept. 20, and once you decide to use the special ballot process, you can’t change your mind and use either the advance poll or vote on election day.

When it’s time to count the ballots, election workers will open all the signed outer envelopes, take out the unmarked inner envelopes and place them in the ballot box, which is then mixed so the special ballots can’t be identified as such.

As I said earlier, the special ballot process is an option some people may take, but I suspect most, as usual, will vote either in advance or on Election Day.

This election, there doesn’t seem to be as much variance in the number of candidates running in ridings in B.C.

Over the weekend, I went over the lists of confirmed candidates in each riding. I found one riding, Cloverdale-Langley City, which had just four candidates on the ballot, and one, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, with eight.

Those were the high and low, which surprised me somewhat, because it seemed in elections I have checked the numbers before, there was usually at least one riding with a double-digit number of candidates.

The other thing I noticed was that the four candidates in Cloverdale-Langley City represented the same four parties as candidates in every other riding: Conservative, Liberal, NDP and People’s Party. If there was a fifth candidate, it was usually (but not always ) Green.

Other parties with at least one candidate on the ballot somewhere in the province included Christian Heritage, Maverick, Rhinoceros, Marxist-Leninist, Communist, Canada’s Fourth Front, Libertaran, and Animal protection, along with a smattering of Independent candidates.

You got options on how to vote, so get out there and do it.

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