What you need to know about Victoria's civic by-election
What You Need to Know to Vote in Victoria’s By-Election
The Declaration of Candidates for the City of Victoria’s 2020 By-Election is now available victoria.ca/election. Eleven candidates have submitted their nomination papers to run for one vacant Councillor seat on Victoria City Council.
Victoria’s 2020 By-Election will be officially declared on Monday, November 16, allowing one week for candidates to be challenged or to withdraw. To assist voters in finding information about candidates and to make informed choices, the City’s online Candidate Profile Guide will be available on November 17.
There are many ways to vote in the City of Victoria’s 2020 By-Election to elect one Councillor.
General Voting Day
General Voting Day for Victoria’s by-election is Saturday, December 12, 2020 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be six voting places on General Voting Day, each equipped with two voting machines for increased efficiency. Voters can vote at any of these locations:
- James Bay Community School, 140 Oswego Street
- Oaklands Elementary School, 2827 Belmont Avenue
- Sir James Douglas Elementary School, 401 Moss Street
- Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay Street
- Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas Street (An accessible voting machine will be available.)
- Victoria High School at SJ Willis Education Centre, 923 Topaz Avenue
Advance Voting Opportunities
Eight advance voting opportunities will be held at the Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas Street, and will be open to all voters. An accessible voting machine will be available.
- Tuesday, December 1, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 2, 8 a.m.– 8 p.m.
- Thursday, December 3, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
- Friday, December 4, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
- Saturday, December 5, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
- Monday, December 7, 8 a.m.– 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, December 8, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 9, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
Accessible Voting Machine
An accessible voting machine will be available at each advance voting opportunity and on General Voting Day at the Crystal Garden to make voting more accessible for those with disabilities. A voter will be provided with headphones and their preferred selector device (i.e. a hand-held vote selector, paddles, or sip-and-puff) with which to vote via an audio voting session. All devices will be sanitized between uses.
For those with accessibility concerns, curbside voting will be available at all voting places on General Voting Day and at all advance voting opportunities. A parking space at each voting place will be designated for accessible curbside voting. A sign will identify the parking space and will include a phone number to call. By-election staff will come out to assist voters with voting from their vehicle.
Vote by Mail
To request a mail ballot package, visit victoria.ca/election to fill out an online form or call 250.361.0571. Voters may apply for a mail ballot package up to and including General Voting Day.
All mail ballots must be received by the City of Victoria before 8 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Saturday, December 12, 2020 to be counted in the By-Election.
Completed mail ballots should be placed in the mail by Friday, December 4 at the latest. After December 4, all requested mail ballots need to be picked up at City Hall and can be placed in the drop box at the Pandora Avenue entrance of City Hall, at an advance voting opportunity at Crystal Garden, or before 8 p.m. at one of the six voting places on General Voting Day.
Postage is included for mail ballot packages mailed within Canada. If you have requested a mail ballot but have not received one by General Voting Day, please contact City of Victoria Legislative Services at 250.361.0571.
To be eligible to vote in Victoria’s 2020 By-Election, you must be 18 years or older on voting day, be a Canadian citizen, a resident of British Columbia for at least six months, a resident of the City of Victoria or a registered owner of property in Victoria for at least 30 days prior to voting day.
If you own property in Victoria but live elsewhere, you are eligible to vote in Victoria’s 2020 By-Election as a non-resident property elector – as long as you own the property as an individual, not as a corporation.
Provincial Voters List
The City of Victoria uses the Provincial Voters List as its voter list for the 2020 By-Election. You can check to see if you’re on the Provincial Voters List on the City’s website. If you’re on the list, you are required to bring one piece of valid ID when you vote. If you’re not on the list, you will need to bring two pieces of valid ID to register when voting.
The City of Victoria is committed to delivering a safe and physically distanced by-election during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following public health, Elections BC and WorkSafeBC directives, the City’s COVID-19 safety plan for each voting place will make sure the by-election is safe for voters, candidates and election staff.
All voting places will have protective measures in place, including physical distancing, capacity limits, and plexiglass protective barriers. Hand sanitizing stations will be provided and voters will be asked to sanitize their hands before and after voting. Election officials will wear masks or face-visors and there will be frequent cleaning of voting stations and high-touch surfaces. Pens will be provided for voting and will be sanitized between uses. People may also bring their own pen to vote.
Electors are encouraged to wear masks when entering the voting location and will not be asked to remove their masks while voting. Those who are ill or self-isolating are asked not to visit a voting place and to request a mail ballot package.
For more information, visit victoria.ca/election.