Advance polling begins on Oct. 15, 2020, across B.C. in the 2020 snap election. (Black Press files)

Advance polling begins on Oct. 15, 2020, across B.C. in the 2020 snap election. (Black Press files)

B.C. VOTES 2020: Advance voting begins today

Advance voting runs from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21 in B.C.’s election

Elk Valley locals who have already made up their minds in the provincial election will be able to cast their ballots in-person, starting today.

Advance voting runs from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21, with Election Day on Oct. 24.

Elections BC had received roughly 670,000 vote-by-mail package requests as of Oct. 14. There are 3.48 million registered voters in B.C.

READ MORE: Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Here’s what you need to know before you vote:

Advance polling locations:

Advance voting places will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time on the days they are open.

Fernie: 562 3rd Ave, Fernie

Sparwood: 101 4th Ave, Sparwood

Elkford: 750 Fording Dr, Elkford

Jaffray: 7205 Rosen Lake Rd, Jaffray

Candidates running in Kootenay East:

Voters in the Elk Valley have three candidates to pick from in the provincial election, with the area falling under the Kootenay East riding, which includes Cranbrook.

Previous MLA, Tom Shypitka of the BC Liberals is re-contesting the seat, which he held between 2017 and 2020. The BC Liberals have held Kootenay East since 2001.

CANDIDATE INTERVIEW: Shypitka lists priorities as wilflife and land access, health and education

Contesting the seat for the NDP is Wayne Stetski, who voters will know as the former federal MP for Kootenay-Columbia, which overlaps with the provincial riding of Kootenay East. Stetski, who held the federal seat between 2017 and 2019, has also served as the Mayor of Cranbrook.

CANDIDATE INTERVIEW: NDPs Wayne Stetski hits the ground running

For the BC Greens, Fernie’s Kerri Wall has been nominated to challenge the seat. Wall has taken a leave of absence from her work with Interior Health, where she works in the Healthy Communities Program.

CANDIDATE INTERVIEW: Fernie’s Kerri Wall contests Kootenay East for BC Greens

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

BC politicsBC Votes 2020