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October 27, 2017 5:38 pm

Absentee Votes Explained

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 3:48 PM

Prince George, B.C. – With the final result of B.C.’s 41st election still up in the air until around 176,000 absentee ballots are counted – 250News thought it would be worthwhile to ask Elections BC what exactly an absentee ballot is.

Communications Manger Andrew Watson says it’s a ballot cast under the absentee voting provisions of the Election Act.

“It can be a mail-in ballot, it could be a voter who voted at a district electoral office for when the election was called until 4 p.m. yesterday,” he says.

“There’s also special voting opportunities that are considered absentee ballots – so there are cases like remote work camps where Elections BC sends a team of election officials to administer voting or even to a hospital in some cases.

“And, those who voted during the advance voting period but outside of their district or voters who voted on General Voting Day but not at their assigned voting place.”

So why so long before the counting starts? (Not until May 22 – May 24).

“That timing is established in the Election Act and the reason for the gap between the initial count and the final count is because you can vote at any place in B.C.  So, if you were in Prince George for example but you lived in Victoria, you would’ve voted for the candidates in your local riding,” Watson says.

“So, your absentee ballot cast in Prince George is actually sent to your home district in Victoria so it can be counted in that district during final count. Officials also do a lot of verification work on the certification envelopes containing absentee ballots, so that’s the reason for that time between initial and final counts.”

He adds Elections BC will be doing a lot of work between now and that final count.

“We’re sending these absentee ballots across the province, tracking them and entering them in our system.”

Watson adds a lot of vetting of the absentee ballots must take place, something he terms important “checks and balances.”

He says Elections BC aims to publish a break down of the number of absentee ballots by electoral district later this month.


Washington State has gone to a 100% “mail-in” ballot. The filled-out ballots can be scanned with signature and sent in by e-mail. They can be dropped into election boxes distributed throughout the State at anytime up to the deadline for voting.


They verify the individual by the signature on record.

    They might as well outsource the process to the Congo Institute of Marketing.

    The whole idea of the absentee ballot disrespects the dignity of a legitimate citizen voting with a verified ballot through a process that ensures there is no outside coercion with ones vote.

    How do they prevent say a husband filing the womans vote for those cultures that don’t believe the woman should vote?
    Or how do they prevent someone buying up pre-signed ballots, at say $10 a ballot, and thus influencing the outcome through contested elections?
    Or how does one even ensure the person mailing the ballot is even that person and not a stolen identity, dead person, or otherwise misrepresentation of person-hood?

    If a person can not be bothered to vote in person at either an election BC office or voting station then they have no business voting at all IMO. Every fraudulent vote cancels out the vote of a legitimate citizen who expects full value for their own vote. Every fraudulent vote diminishes the integrity of the democratic process.

    I think that people that are too lazy to vote through the legitimate process should forfeit their vote due a lack of sincerity in the fiduciary duty to be informed and participate as ones own responsibility in the process.

    Absentee ballots are a vehicle to steal close elections IMO.

That will likely come here, too, someday. Washington State is one of the States that has provision for citizen initiated propositions to be voted on directly by the electorate. That seems to work quite well there, unlike in California, where a similar process has often led to some bizarre results that could hardly have ever been intended.

Nice rant Eagleone! I was an absentee ballet voter for the first time in my 40 years of voting. I went through the same process as I would normally go through , but in a different location than the MLA I was voting for! It offends me that you think your vote is more important than mine or anybody else that votes. Many people don’t have the luxury of working 5 minutes away from their polling station and this allows them to exercise their vote!

    Well said. More ways to vote for people unable to attend their local polling station on election day = more people voting = more accurate reflection of the will of the voting populace.

      No it doesn’t represent a more accurate will of the voting population. The best representation of the voting population is when a secure voting process takes place where people that are concerned about the vote turn out and follow the proper vetting process to vote.

      If we loosen the vetting process to vote to get more ballots cast all we is undermine the vote of those that do follow the rules by opening up the process to more fraud and abuse.

      We have advanced polls and we have elections BC polling stations throughout the province. If one can’t make it to either than voting isn’t really a priority for them. It surely shouldn’t trump the right of every other voter to have a valid and secure election process.

    I didn’t say your vote doesn’t count.

    I am saying a vote that isn’t vetted to ensure you are who you, and that you were not coerced is a problem for a legitimate vote count. If you went to a voting place outside your riding that is approved by Election BC and showed proper ID before voting then I have no argument.

    My argument is against any form of mail in ballot simply done through the mail that doesn’t protect the integrity of who it s that voted and that they were free of coerced manipulation with their true voting intentions. It goes to the very foundation of any democracy to know only citizens vote, that they only vote once, and that they do so free of coercion and or fear of not having a private ballot process.

    It offends me that you think because you voted in a remote polling station that it justifies gopg2015’s notion that people should be allowed to vote through a post card which undermines the whole process for everyone else that follows the rules and votes at a proper voting station (whether in riding or remote). Protecting the integrity of the vote is about democracy and not about the feelings of cougs79 to give our democracy away to post card fillers, because the way you voted was different… but not what I was posting about anyways.

With all the different ways to get your vote in it’s a shame 43% didn’t bother . Not that close here , but if everybody voted it might be . Imagine there is a few in Courteney Comox saying ya maybe I should of voted !

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