Vancouver municipal election: advance voting continues Pipa News

Vancouver municipal election: advance voting continues

The ballot in the Vancouver city election is one of the longest in the country, and voters are being encouraged to take advantage of the advance polls that begin Saturday.

Not only is voting early a good way to avoid long lines, it can also give voters extra time to complete a ballot that has been described as intimidating.

“Oh my god, this is absolutely challenging,” said Danielle Johnson, manager of democratic engagement for the City of Vancouver.

“It’s really my job and I find it hard,” she admitted.

There are 137 candidates in the fray for various positions, and voters are being asked to choose 10 councillors, seven park board commissioners, nine school trustees and a mayor.

There are also three capital planning questions.

“If you are a well-informed voter, you will know who you are choosing, but it can be quite complicated for someone who is doing it for the first time,” said pollster Mario Canseco.

To make things fair, the candidates are not listed alphabetically but randomly. This means that it will take more time for voters to find their preferred candidates.

Each category does not need to vote, nor do they need to vote for all 10 councilors or all seven Park Board commissioners, etc.

“Let’s say you only have five councilors that you feel strongly about,” Johnson said. “You can select those five, leave the other five places blank,[and]it’s a perfectly valid vote.”

But voters should be careful not to select more candidates than those shown in the ballot paper, otherwise their choice will be considered invalid. For example, nine school trustees need to be elected. Voters can choose none, some or all nine, but if 10 candidates are marked, the votes will not be counted.

“It’s like a 6/49 ticket,” Canseco said. “You have to be very careful about the way you do it, make sure everything is going to count, and don’t name more than you can.”

The good news is that a computerized ballot tabulator will catch mistakes on the spot, and an election official can provide a new ballot if the wrong ballot is destroyed.

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