Oak Bay Expands Opportunities for Mail Ballot Voting in Local Government Elections

June 30, 2022

Oak Bay Expands Opportunities for Mail Ballot Voting in Local Government Elections

Eligible voters in Oak Bay can now choose to vote by mail in local government elections. At their regular meeting of June 27, 2022, Oak Bay Council passed a bylaw to remove restrictions that had previously limited mail ballot voting to voters who were going to be away on voting days, or who were physically unable to vote at a polling station.

Recent changes to provincial legislation enabled the District’s move to expand eligibility for mail ballot voting – a shift that advances Council’s commitment to “service excellence”, enhances accessibility for voters, and provides an alternative for those voters who may not be comfortable attending a polling station in person due to the ongoing concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to make voting safe and simple for as many voters as possible in Oak Bay,” said Chief Election Officer Joanna Winter.  “Mail ballot voting is another way you can exercise your vote for Mayor, Council and Trustee for School District 61.”

To take advantage of this new voting opportunity for the upcoming 2022 local government election, eligible voters will need to request a mail ballot package. Details about how and when to ask for a mail ballot package, as well as information about dates and locations for in-person voting will be published on the District of Oak Bay website and in local newspapers closer to General Voting Day on Saturday, October 15, 2022. Mail ballot packages will be distributed by mail/courier or made available for pick-up at the Municipal Hall as soon as the ballots are printed. To be counted, mail ballots must be returned by the end of General Voting Day.

Oak Bay has traditionally enjoyed a higher rate of voter turnout than other local governments in British Columbia - 53.6 per cent of eligible electors voted in the 2018 election, which was 18 per cent higher than the provincial average. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments to permit mail ballot voting will help to maintain or even increase voter turnout in the District.


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For media inquiries, please contact:
Chief Election Officer - Joanna Winter
Deputy Chief Election Officers – Sarah Morden or Anja Nurvo