Elections BC Opens Offices, Aims to Boost Voter Turnout
Prince George, B.C. – Elections B.C. is doing what it can to get more people to the polls.
The non-partisan office of the B.C. legislature has extended the number of advance polling days from four to six and has extended the voting hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. those days (previously it was noon to 8 p.m.). That’s in addition to General Voting Day May 9.
“Advance polls take place April 29 and 30 and from May 3-6,” says Linda Smerychynski, district electoral officer in Prince George-Valemount.” “We’ll have mobile units too. At the airport, jail and all seniors’ facilities.”
To boost turnout, she says Elections BC is also encouraging young people to participate in the process.
“Our aim is for 20 per cent of the elected officials at the polling stations. We’ve almost reached our quota with the cooperation of high schools in the area.”
Just 57 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots in both Prince George ridings in the 2013 provincial election (provincially, turnout was also 57 per cent).
Aside from counting votes on advance and General Voting Day, Smerychynski says they are providing additional services at their office.
“At this point, we’re providing information and the ability to sign up to be an elected official,” she says. “We’re still recruiting though I’m not sure what stage they’re at.”
All Elections BC offices opened today – the Prince George-Valemount office is located at 401-1777 3rd Avenue (250-561-3488) and the Prince George-Mackenzie office is a 1511 Lyon Street S (250-561-3504).
More information, including the location of advance polls, can be found by dialing 1-800-661-8683 or by going to elections.bc.ca.