Information for Voters
Provincial legislation gives eligible B.C. residents the right to vote in general local elections and by-elections. This right is subject to certain restrictions, limitations and requirements. Additionally, local governments are required to provide access to voting, through various opportunities, such as an advance voting day.
Please begin by reading the Voters Guide to Local Elections in B.C. (250 KB PDF).
In order to be eligible to vote locally as a resident or non-resident property elector, a person must:
- Be 18 years of age or older when they register to vote, or 18 years or older on general voting day,
- Be a Canadian citizen;
- Have been a resident of B. C. for at least six months before they register to vote;
- Have either lived or owned property in the jurisdiction in which they intend to vote for at least 30 days before they register to vote; and
- Not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.
Voting rights are granted to citizens based on residency or property ownership. There is no corporate or business vote in local elections.
Non-Resident Property Electors
When a person lives in one jurisdiction and owns property in one or more other jurisdictions, they may vote once in each of the other jurisdictions where they own property – as long as they meet the voter eligibility requirements.
If a person owns a property with one or more other individuals, only one person is eligible to vote as the non-resident property elector for that property. The owner entitled to vote must be designated, in writing, by the majority of the property owners.
A person cannot vote on behalf of a corporation, or as a non-resident property elector, based on a property owned wholly or in part by a corporation.
Students who live in one jurisdiction and attend an educational institution in a jurisdiction different from their usual place of residence may vote only once—either in the jurisdiction where they attend school or in the jurisdiction that is their usual place of residence.
Resident electors and non-resident property electors are not eligible to vote in a local election if they:
- Have been convicted and sentenced for an indictable offence and are in custody;
- Have been found guilty of an election offence, such as intimidation or vote-buying; or
- Do not otherwise meet voter eligibility requirements.
Voting Day Registration Only
The District of Summerland uses same-day voter registration rather than the provincial list of electors or a similar list of eligible electors compiled by the local government.
To register on voting day, eligible resident electors are required to make a solemn declaration about where they live in order to obtain a ballot.
Non-resident property electors are required to show two pieces of identification and the title of the property (or other proof of property ownership) in relation to which they are voting.
When a resident elector is required to show two pieces of identification, the identification must prove who they are and where they live – including the person's name and residential address. One of the pieces of identification must also include the person's signature (such as a driver's licence or BC Services Card). If neither piece of identification shows the elector's residential address, they may make a solemn declaration as to their place of residence.
Non-resident property electors must prove who they are and where they live as well as provide the address or legal description and the title (or other proof of ownership) of the property in relation to which they are registering to vote. Non-resident property electors must also demonstrate to the presiding election official that they have the written consent of the majority of all owners to vote as the designated non-resident property elector if they own the property with another person.
General voting day is usually the most publicized or widely-known voting opportunity resident and non-resident property electors have to cast their ballot in a local election. Advance voting opportunities are also available for those who may not otherwise be able to vote on general voting day.
General Voting Day - October 20, 2018
General voting day is held every four years on the third Saturday in October. General voting day is the primary opportunity for candidates seeking office as Mayor, Councillor, or School Board Trustee to be elected to office by eligible electors.
Voting places are open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM local time on general voting day.
Advance Voting - October 10 & 16, 2018
An advance voting opportunity must be held 10 days prior to general voting day. This required advance voting day allows eligible electors who may not otherwise be able to vote on general voting day to cast their ballots. Local governments with populations greater than 5,000 are required to hold at least two advance voting opportunities.
Special voting opportunities may be held in any location – inside or outside the local government boundary – to provide eligible electors who may not otherwise be able to attend a voting place an opportunity to cast their ballots during a local election.
Special voting opportunities are generally held in hospitals, long-term care facilities or other locations where electors’ mobility may be impaired. Only designated electors are eligible to vote at special voting opportunities. Local governments may set out the specific dates, times and locations where special voting will take place during an election in their election bylaws.
The District of Summerland will be arranging a number of special voting opportunities in accordance with the Local Government Act and the Election and Assent Voting Bylaw No. 2018-017.
Mail Ballot Voting
The District of Summerland does not offer mail ballot voting. The earlier date of the general local election in 2018 will allow for more seasonal residents to participate than previous elections.
Local governments are required to make voting places as accessible as reasonably possible. This includes providing options for:
- Assistance receiving a ballot ("curb-side" voting): if an eligible elector travels to a voting place and cannot easily access the building or room in which voting is taking place, an election official may bring them a ballot.
- Assistance marking a ballot: if an eligible elector is unable to mark their own ballot, another person, such as an election official, friend or relative, may assist them. That person will be required to sign a solemn declaration before being able to provide assistance in marking the ballot.
- Translation: if an eligible elector requires assistance from a translator, they may bring one, as long as the translator makes a solemn declaration that they can and will translate to the best of their ability.
Local Elections Legislation
For more information, please visit the Provincial Government's General Local Elections page or contact the Chief Election Officer for the District of Summerland:
Jeremy Denegar, Chief Election Officer
13211 Henry Ave
PO Box 159
Summerland BC V0H 1Z0