Photo by Chung Chow
The Richmond civic election is Saturday, Oct. 20 but you have many chances and many ways to vote before that day.
The basic rule is you need to be 18 years of age, a Richmond resident and a Canadian citizen by election day. If you are not on the voters’ list, you are still eligible to vote if you show two pieces of identification that have your name and address on them. One of your pieces of ID must show your signature. A few examples include passports, driver’s licenses, and the new photo ID health care card.
In Canada, the policy for elections at all levels of government is to err on the side of inclusion. That inclusion means regardless of abilities, as long as you meet the age, citizenship and residency requirements, you should be able to vote.
To inform yourself before you vote, check out the Richmond Sentinel video series of three-minute interviews where each candidate for outlines their concerns and policies. That way, you can make a knowledgeable decision when faced with the ballot in the voting booth.
“Voting places are accessible to people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters. An accessible ballot-marking device is available at Richmond City Hall on advance voting dates (October 11, 12, and 13). This option will allow voters to mark their ballot independently by using descriptive audio, touch screen, Braille, rocker paddle device, and sip and puff device. Curb-side voting is also an option, or voters may bring a friend or family member to assist them at the voting place,” says city spokesperson, Ted Townsend.
No one is allowed to tell you how to vote. It is your decision alone. Voting on election day at your designated polling station often means running into neighbours and old friends from your neighbourhood. Even though voting is taken seriously, the atmosphere is friendly.
Townsend says, “In addition, mail ballots are available by request for those who will be away on all voting dates, or for those who have a physical disability, illness, or injury that affects their ability to attend a voting place in person. Mail ballots must be requested no later than October 20 at 4 p.m. by contacting the Richmond Elections Office at 604-276-4100 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The advance polling stations open to any eligible voter are:
Thursday, Oct. 11: Richmond City Hall, 6911 No. 3 Road and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Road.
Friday, Oct. 12: Richmond City Hall, 6911 No. 3 Road
Saturday, October 13: Richmond City Hall, 6911 No. 3 Road, Burnett Secondary School, 5011 Granville Avenue, Cambie Secondary School, 4151 Jacombs Road, McMath Secondary School, 4251 Garry Street, and McRoberts Secondary School, 8980 Williams Road
“Ultimately, we want voters to have a positive voting experience,” said David Weber, Chief Election Officer. “Election officials at the voting place are well-trained to administer the voting process impartially, and we hope that Richmond voters will take a few minutes of their day to make their mark in Richmond.”
For more information and details on where, when and how to exercise your right to vote, click here or in the 2018 Richmond Election app.