The Municipal Election is on October 20. File photo

How to vote in the Elk Valley municipal elections

Elk Valley electors have different options when it comes to voting on October 20

How Elk Valley electors vote in the 2018 Municipal Election will depend on where they live.

Unlike other municipalities, Fernie does not use the provincial voters list, which means electors must register on the day.

“Every municipality has their own election bylaw and Fernie has chosen to do it this way,” explained Chief Election Officer Kevin Allen.

“As a Fernie elector, you would come with two pieces of ID – one that has a signature and one that proves your address – and you register, take a declaration that says you’re a Fernie elector, and then you sign and we give you a ballot.”

General voting will be open to qualified electors of the City of Fernie on Saturday, October 20 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre, 562 3rd Ave.

There is also advance voting on Wednesday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 17 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the same location.

On Friday, October 19, a special voting opportunity will be available to qualified electors who are patients or residents of the Elk Valley Hospital, Trinity Lodge and Tom Uphill Manor.

Mail voting is also available in Fernie.

Electors are eligible to vote by mail if they have a physical disability, illness or injury that affects their ability to vote, or they expect to be absent from the City of Fernie on general voting day and at the times of all advance voting opportunities.

To request a mail ballot package, contact Kevin Allen via 250-423-2255 or chielfelectionofficer@fernie.ca before 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 18.

The District of Sparwood, on the other hand, uses the provincial voters list and does not have mail ballot voting. However, residents can still register on the day by completing an application form and providing two pieces of ID that prove their residency, and identity.

General voting will be open to qualified electors of the District of Sparwood on Saturday, October 20 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the curling rink, 367 Pine Ave.

There is also advance voting on Wednesday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 16 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sparwood Seniors Citizen Drop In Centre, 101 4th Ave.

Elkford offers the same voting options as Fernie with mail ballot voting and same-day elector registration.

General voting will be open to qualified electors of the District of Elkford on Saturday, October 20 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Elkford Community Conference Centre, 750 Fording Dr.

There is also advance voting on Wednesday, October 10 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, October 16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the District of Elkford Municipal Office, 816 Michel Rd.

Elkford electors are eligible to vote by mail if they meet the same criteria as in Fernie.

To request a mail ballot package, contact the Deputy Chief Election Officer via 250-865-4016 or gstanley@elkford.ca. before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 19. In the City of Fernie, there are three people running for Mayor and 12 people running for the offices of Councillor.

Allen hopes the large number of candidates will boost voter turnout, which was very low in the 2014 election when the Mayor was acclaimed and only seven people ran for council.

“I anticipate just with the number of candidates… that it will be a more interesting race for people and it will increase voter turnout,” he said.

In Elkford, Mayor Dean McKerracher has been acclaimed with 11 people running for the offices of Councillor, while in Sparwood there are three people running for Mayor and 11 running for council.

In the Regional District of East Kootenay, both Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski and Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle have been acclaimed, with South Country electors only needing to vote for a school trustee in Electoral Area 4.

Frank Lento and Bev Bellina have been acclaimed as school trustees in School District No. 5 (Southeast Kootenay), Trustee Electoral Area 1 and 2, respectively.

To view the full list of candidates, visit Localelections.ca.

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