Referendum information cards have started arriving in local mailboxes this week in anticipation of the mail-in vote on changing the provincial voting system.
In the lead-up to the referendum, Elections B.C. is asking B.C. residents to check that they are registered so that they receive the referendum package. To be eligible, individuals must be Canadian citizens, 18 or older as of Nov. 30, 2018 and must have been a B.C. resident for at least six months prior to Nov. 30.
“We want to make sure that every eligible voter has an opportunity to participate in the referendum,” says Anton Boegman, Chief Electoral Officer. “If you’ve moved or will be away, contact Elections BC to make sure you get your voting package later this fall.”Referendum voting packages will be distributed between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, 2018.The questions on the referendum ballot will be in two parts. First, asking whether voters would choose a first-past-the-post system (the current system used in provincial and federal elections) or a proportional representation (PR) system. The second part asks voters to rank three PR systems: dual-member proportional (DMP), mixed member proportional (MMP) and rural-urban proportional (RUP).
Nine years ago, British Columbians rejected a proportional representation system, called the single transferable vote, in a referendum.
The threshold this time around is lower at 50 per cent. If half of the electorate supports proportional representation, then the PR system that got the most support out of the three proposed will be adopted.
Voters can register or update their voter information online at elections.bc.ca/ovr, or by calling 1-800-661-8683, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.