Search Results | Clear Search | Previous (in doc) | Next (in doc) | Prev Doc | Next Doc
Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Election Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 106

Part 4 — Voters

Division 1 — Qualifications

Who may vote

29  In order to vote in an election for an electoral district, an individual must

(a) be a Canadian citizen,

(b) be 18 years of age or older on general voting day for the election,

(c) be a resident of the electoral district,

(d) have been a resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months immediately before general voting day for the election,

(e) be registered as a voter for the electoral district or register as such in conjunction with voting, and

(f) not be disqualified by this Act or any other enactment from voting in the election or be otherwise disqualified by law.

Individuals disqualified from voting

30  Without limiting section 29 (f), the following individuals are not entitled to vote in an election:

(a) the chief electoral officer and the deputy chief electoral officer;

(b) [Repealed 2003-37-11.]

(c) an individual who is prohibited from voting under Part 12.

Division 2 — Registration

Who may register as a voter

31  (1) An individual must meet all the following qualifications in order to register as a voter:

(a) the individual must be a Canadian citizen;

(b) the individual must be an individual

(i)   who is 18 years of age or older at the time of registration, or

(ii)   if an election is in progress for the electoral district for which the individual will be entitled to vote on registration, who will be 18 years of age or older on general voting day for the election;

(c) the individual must have been a resident of British Columbia for the immediately preceding 6 months;

(d) the individual must not be disqualified from voting under section 29 (f).

(2) An individual who is registered but who ceases to meet the qualifications referred to in subsection (1) is not entitled to continue to be registered.

Rules for determining where an individual is resident

32  (1) The following rules apply to determine for the purposes of this Act the place where an individual is resident:

(a) an individual is a resident of the place where the individual lives and to which, whenever absent, the individual intends to return;

(b) an individual may be the resident of only one place at a time for the purposes of this Act;

(c) an individual does not change the place where the individual is a resident until the individual has a new place where the individual is a resident;

(d) an individual does not cease being a resident of a place by leaving the place for temporary purposes only.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1) (d), a temporary purpose within the meaning of that subsection includes being absent from British Columbia

(a) while the individual is engaged in the service of the government of British Columbia or Canada,

(b) as the spouse of an individual referred to in paragraph (a), or

(c) as an individual who is in a child-parent relationship with an individual referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) and who is accompanying that individual for this reason.

(3) As an exception to subsection (1), if for the purposes of attending an educational institution an individual establishes a new place where the individual is a resident that is away from the usual place where the individual is a resident, the individual may choose for the purposes of this Act either the usual place or the new place as the place where the individual is a resident.

(4) As an exception to subsection (1), an individual who is imprisoned in a penal institution is not by that imprisonment a resident of the place where the penal institution is located, but instead is deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a resident of whichever of the following the individual chooses:

(a) the place where the individual was a resident before being imprisoned;

(b) the place where a spouse, parent or dependant of the individual is a resident within the meaning of subsection (1).

(5) Temporary residential quarters are considered to be an individual's place of residence only if the individual has no other place that the individual considers to be his or her residence.

(6) For the purposes of this Act, an individual who has no dwelling place may register as a voter on the basis that the individual's place of residence is a shelter, hostel or similar institution that provides food, lodging or other social services.

When an individual may register

33  (1) An individual may apply to be registered as a voter at any of the following registration opportunities:

(a) general registration in accordance with section 36;

(b) a special registration opportunity under section 39;

(c) registration in conjunction with voting in accordance with section 41 or 41.1;

(d) registration during an enumeration under section 42.

(2) If satisfied on the basis of the application for registration in accordance with section 35 that an individual is entitled to be registered as a voter, the voter registration or election official responsible must accept the application and register the individual.

(3) An individual becomes registered as a voter when his or her application for registration is accepted by the voter registration or election official responsible.

Updating registration information

34  (1) If a registered voter changes the place where he or she is resident, changes his or her name or otherwise changes the information required regarding registration, the voter may apply to update his or her registration information at any of the registration opportunities referred to in section 33.

(2) This Act, as it applies to registration as a voter, applies to the updating of voter registration information, except that

(a) an application for the updating may be made in any manner acceptable to the official responsible for accepting applications for voter registration, and

(b) if the voter remains a voter for the same electoral district, the official responsible may waive the requirements of section 41 (2) (b) or 41.1 (2) (b).

Application for registration

35  (1) An application for registration as a voter must be on a form supplied by the chief electoral officer and must include the following information:

(a) the full name of the applicant;

(b) the address of the place where the applicant is a resident within the meaning of section 32;

(c) the mailing address of the applicant, if this is different from the address referred to in paragraph (b);

(d) the birth date of the applicant or other identifying information prescribed by regulation;

(e) any other information required to be included by regulation;

(f) a confirmation that the applicant meets the requirements of section 31 to be registered as a voter.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b), an address of an applicant that indicates the place where the applicant is resident within the meaning of section 32 is sufficient if, in the opinion of the voter registration or election official accepting the application, it indicates that place for the purpose of determining the voting area of which the applicant is a resident.

(3) On request, a district registrar of voters must provide an application form without charge to each individual wishing to register as a voter.

(4) On request, the chief electoral officer must provide a reasonable number of application forms without charge to a registered political party or registered constituency association for the organization to use in assisting individuals to register as voters.

General registration

36  (1) Registration under this section must be available except during a closed period under section 37.

(2) An individual may apply to register as a voter by

(a) delivering an application form completed in accordance with section 35 to

(i)   the chief electoral officer,

(ii)   a district registrar of voters or another voter registration official authorized by a district registrar of voters, or

(iii)   an individual authorized as agent under section 38, or

(b) providing orally to a district registrar of voters or another voter registration official authorized by a district registrar of voters

(i)   the information referred to in section 35 (1) (a) to (e), and

(ii)   confirmation that the applicant meets the requirements of section 31 to be registered as a voter.

(3) Applications under subsection (2) must be received at the office of any district registrar of voters during its regular office hours and may be received at other times and places authorized by the chief electoral officer or a district registrar of voters.

(4) The officials responsible for accepting applications under this section are the chief electoral officer, the district registrars of voters and any voter registration officials authorized by the chief electoral officer.

Closed period for general registration

37  (1) Applications for registration as a voter for an electoral district must not be received under section 36 (2) during the period beginning on the 8th day after an election is called for the electoral district and ending on the 2nd day after general voting day for the election.

(2) As soon as possible after an election is called, the chief electoral officer must have published in accordance with section 270 a notice stating the following:

(a) the date after which an individual may not register or update voter registration information except in conjunction with voting;

(b) how an individual may obtain information about registering or updating voter registration information under section 36 before the date referred to in paragraph (a);

(c) that after the date referred to in paragraph (a) an individual may only register or update voter registration information in conjunction with voting.

Registration through agencies

38  (1) The chief electoral officer may authorize persons other than voter registration and election officials to act as agents of the chief electoral officer for receiving applications for voter registration or for updating voter registration information.

(2) Applications for voter registration must not be received under this section during a closed period under section 37.

(3) If a form or other document under another enactment is specified by regulation, despite any restriction or prohibition in the other enactment,

(a) the form or document may be combined with an application for voter registration or updating voter registration information, and

(b) the persons responsible for receiving that form or document may act as agents for the chief electoral officer in relation to this Division.

(4) As an exception to section 35, the chief electoral officer may accept a copy of an application received under this section as an application for voter registration or updating voter registration information.

(5) The officials responsible for accepting applications under this section are the chief electoral officer and any voter registration official authorized by the chief electoral officer.

Special voter registration opportunities

39  (1) The chief electoral officer may require or authorize a district registrar of voters to arrange a special registration opportunity at which individuals may attend to register.

(2) A special registration opportunity must not be held during the closed period for general registration under section 37.

(3) To register under this section, an individual must deliver an application form completed in accordance with section 35 to the voter registration official responsible at the special registration opportunity.

(4) The official responsible for accepting applications under this section is the district registrar of voters.

Registration and updating based on National Register of Electors information

39.1  The chief electoral officer may, on the basis of National Register of Electors information and without any application by the individuals involved,

(a) register as voters those individuals who appear to be qualified to register as voters, and

(b) update current voter registration information.

Automatic updating using driver's licence information

40  (1) For the purpose of updating voter registration information, the chief electoral officer may request that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia under the Motor Vehicle Act provide information contained in records kept by the corporation and, subject to subsection (2), the corporation must provide the information to the chief electoral officer.

(2) If an individual makes a written request to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia that the corporation not provide to the chief electoral officer personal information respecting the individual, the corporation must arrange for that information to be excluded from the information provided to the chief electoral officer.

Registration in conjunction with voting if identification documents available

41  (1) An individual who is not registered as a voter may register in accordance with this section in conjunction with voting.

(2) In order to register under this section, an individual must

(a) deliver an application form completed in accordance with section 35 to the district electoral officer or an election official authorized by the district electoral officer, and

(b) satisfy that official of the applicant's identity and place of residence in accordance with subsection (3).

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (b), an applicant may produce to the election official

(a) one document, issued by the Government of British Columbia or Canada, that contains the applicant's name and photograph, and place of residence,

(b) one document, issued by the Government of Canada, that certifies that the applicant is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act (Canada), or

(c) at least 2 documents of a type authorized by the chief electoral officer, both of which contain the applicant's name and at least one of which contains the applicant's place of residence.

(3.1) The chief electoral officer must publish each year, in a manner that he or she considers appropriate, a notice setting out the types of documents that are authorized for the purposes of subsection (3) (c).

(4) The election official receiving an application must note on the application the nature of the documents produced for the purposes of subsection (2) (b).

(5) If satisfied on the basis of the application and documents produced that the applicant is entitled to be registered as a voter, the election official responsible must accept the individual's application for registration.

Registration in conjunction with voting if no identification documents

41.1  (1) In this section, "voucher" means a person, other than the applicant, referred to in subsection (2).

(2) Despite section 41, an applicant who is unable to produce the documents referred to in section 41 (3) may be registered as a voter in conjunction with voting if

(a) the applicant delivers an application form completed in accordance with section 35 to the district electoral officer or an election official authorized by the district electoral officer, and

(b) both the identity and place of residence of the applicant are confirmed in accordance with subsection (3) of this section by

(i)   a voter registered in the applicant's electoral district of residence who has produced documents referred to in section 41 (3),

(ii)   a spouse, a parent, a grandparent, or an adult child, grandchild or sibling, of the applicant, or

(iii)   a person having authority under the common law or an enactment to make personal care decisions in respect of the applicant.

(3) The applicant and the voucher must each make a solemn declaration, in writing, as to the applicant's identity and place of residence within the meaning of section 32, and stating all of the following:

(a) in the case of the applicant,

(i)   that the applicant meets all the qualifications to be registered as a voter of the electoral district, and

(ii)   the matters set out in section 111 (4) (b) to (e);

(b) in the case of a voucher described in subsection (2) (b) (i),

(i)   that the voucher is a person described in subsection (2) (b) (i), and

(ii)   the matters set out in section 111 (4) (b) to (d);

(c) in the case of a voucher described in subsection (2) (b) (ii) or (iii),

(i)   that the voucher is a person described in subsection (2) (b) (ii) or (iii), as applicable, and setting out the nature of the relationship to the applicant, and

(ii)   the matters set out in section 111 (4) (d).

(4) A voucher may make a confirmation under subsection (3) in the same election,

(a) if the voucher is a voucher described in subsection (2) (b) (i), in respect of only one applicant,

(b) if the voucher is a voucher described in subsection (2) (b) (ii), in respect of only one or more applicants who are members of the voucher's family, or

(c) if the voucher is a voucher described in subsection (2) (b) (iii), in respect of only one or more applicants for whom the voucher has authority as described in that subsection.

(5) A person who has been confirmed under subsection (3) may not confirm another applicant at the same election.

(6) The election official receiving an application must

(a) advise both the applicant and the voucher of

(i)   the requirements of this section, and

(ii)   the penalties for which the applicant and the voucher may be liable for a contravention of those requirements, and

(b) note on the application that a confirmation was made for the purposes of registration.

(7) If satisfied that the applicant is entitled to be registered as a voter, the election official responsible must accept the individual's application for registration.

Challenge of registration

41.2  (1) An individual's right to register under section 41 or 41.1 may be challenged in accordance with this section at any time during the registration procedure up until the time the individual's application for registration is accepted by the election official responsible.

(2) A challenge may be made

(a) only by an election official, a candidate representative or a voter for the electoral district, and

(b) only on the basis that the individual applying to register is not entitled to register

(3) In relation to a challenge under this section, the election official responsible must record on the application

(a) that the individual was challenged,

(b) the name of the individual who made the challenge, and

(c) whether and how the individual challenged satisfied the requirements of section 41 or 41.1.

Enumerations

42  (1) The chief electoral officer may require or authorize one or more district registrars of voters to conduct enumerations of all or part of their electoral districts.

(2) An enumeration may be conducted by residence-to-residence visitation or by another method directed or authorized by the chief electoral officer.

Cancellation of enumeration if election called

43  (1) If an election is called while an enumeration is in progress, the chief electoral officer may cancel the enumeration.

(2) In the case of a by-election, the chief electoral officer may cancel the enumeration in relation to individuals registering as voters for the electoral district for which the election is being held and continue the enumeration for other individuals.

(3) If an enumeration is cancelled, applications for voter registration or updating voter registration information received as part of the enumeration that is cancelled are void and only those individuals who were registered as voters before the start of the enumeration are registered voters.

Voter registration officials conducting enumeration

44  (1) While conducting an enumeration, each voter registration official must wear or carry identification provided by the chief electoral officer and must produce it on request.

(2) A voter registration official has authority to enter an apartment building, other multiple residence building or area of multiple residences during reasonable hours for the purpose of conducting the enumeration of voters in the building or area, and a person having charge of the building or area must allow the official to enter the building or area for this purpose.

(3) An individual must not obstruct a voter registration official in conducting an enumeration.

Division 3 — Lists of Voters

Provincial List of Voters to be maintained

45  (1) The chief electoral officer must maintain a record, to be known as the Provincial List of Voters, of those individuals registered as voters.

(2) The Provincial list of voters must include the names of voters, the places where they are resident and other information required to be included in an application for registration that the chief electoral officer considers should be included in the list.

(3) The chief electoral officer or the district registrar of voters may authorize other voter registration officials to assist in the duties under this Division and may authorize those officials to exercise the powers of the district registrar of voters under this Division.

Updating the Provincial list of voters

46  (1) The chief electoral officer may amend voter registration information on the Provincial list of voters to correctly show the information regarding a voter that the chief electoral officer considers to be current.

(2) The chief electoral officer may remove the name of an individual from the Provincial list of voters as follows, in which case the individual is no longer registered as a voter:

(a) if satisfied that the individual is no longer alive;

(b) if satisfied that the individual is not qualified to be registered as a voter or is fictitious;

(c) if the individual requests in writing that his or her registration as a voter be cancelled;

(d) if, on an enumeration, it appears that the individual is no longer resident in the electoral district for which he or she is registered as a voter;

(e) if satisfied that the individual is no longer resident at the address on the voters list and unable to obtain a current address of the place where the individual is a resident within the meaning of section 32.

(3) [Repealed 2004-51-7.]

Preparation of lists of voters for use in an election

47  (1) For each election for an electoral district, the chief electoral officer must have prepared a preliminary list of voters for the electoral district and a revised list of voters for the electoral district.

(2) Only lists of voters prepared under subsection (1) may be used for the purposes of conducting an election.

(3) The preliminary list of voters for an electoral district must

(a) be prepared as soon as possible after the election is called,

(b) include the names and residential addresses of those individuals who, on the basis of the Provincial list of voters, appear to be resident in the electoral district, and

(c) be divided by voting area for the election.

(4) The revised list of voters for an electoral district must

(a) be prepared as soon as possible after the beginning of the closed period for general registration under section 37,

(b) include the names and residential addresses of those individuals who, on the basis of the Provincial list of voters, appear to be resident in the electoral district,

(c) include the assigned voter number for each individual on the list,

(d) be divided by voting area for the election and organized alphabetically by voter surname within each voting area, and

(e) be certified by the chief electoral officer as being the revised list of voters for use in the election.

(5) Other than the requirements of subsections (3) and (4), the form of a preliminary or revised list of voters for an election is in the discretion of the chief electoral officer.

(6) The chief electoral officer must have copies of the preliminary and revised lists of voters provided to the district registrar of voters and the district electoral officer of the electoral district.

Access to lists of voters during election

48  (1) Candidates in an election are entitled without charge to copies of the lists of voters prepared under section 47 as follows:

(a) the district registrar of voters must provide each candidate with one electronic copy of both the preliminary and revised lists of voters prepared under section 47 for the electoral district;

(b) if requested by a candidate who is not able to use the electronic copy provided under paragraph (a), the district registrar of voters must provide the candidate with one printed copy of each of the preliminary list of voters and the revised list of voters for the electoral district.

(2) Copies of the preliminary and revised lists of voters prepared for an election must be available for public inspection at the offices of the district registrar of voters and the district electoral officer during their regular office hours from the time the lists are received until the close of general voting.

Objection to the registration of a voter

49  (1) The registration of an individual whose name appears on a list of voters prepared under this Act may be objected to in accordance with this section.

(2) An objection must be delivered to the district registrar of voters for the electoral district of which the individual is shown as a resident.

(3) An objection that is received after the start of the closed period for general registration under section 37 must not be dealt with until after the end of that period.

(4) An objection may be made

(a) only by a voter, and

(b) only on the basis that the individual whose name appears on a list of voters

(i)   has died, or

(ii)   is not qualified to be registered as a voter for the electoral district.

(5) An objection must be made in writing, signed by the individual making it, and include the following:

(a) the name and address of the individual against whose registration the objection is made, as shown on the list of voters;

(b) the basis of the objection, including a statement of facts that the objector believes support this;

(c) the name and address of the individual making the objection.

(6) On receiving an objection, the district registrar of voters must make a reasonable effort to notify the individual against whom the objection is made of the objection, the individual who made the objection and the basis on which it is made.

Resolving objections

50  (1) An objection on the basis that an individual has died must be resolved in accordance with the following:

(a) the district registrar of voters must have a search made of the records under the Vital Statistics Act;

(b) if a record of death is found, the district registrar of voters must remove the individual's name from the list of voters;

(c) if a record of death is not found and the district registrar of voters is unable to contact the individual, the objection must be resolved in accordance with subsection (2) (c) and (d).

(2) An objection on the basis that an individual is not entitled to be registered as a voter must be resolved in accordance with the following:

(a) if, after receiving notice of the objection, the individual provides proof satisfactory to the district registrar of voters of the individual's entitlement to be registered or makes a solemn declaration as to that entitlement, the individual's name is to stay on the list of voters;

(b) if, after receiving notice of the objection, the individual does not provide proof of entitlement or make a solemn declaration as to entitlement, the district registrar of voters must remove the individual's name from the list of voters;

(c) if the district registrar of voters is unable to contact the individual who is subject to the objection, the district registrar of voters must require the individual who made the objection to provide satisfactory evidence of the basis of the objection and, if this is done, must remove the name from the list of voters;

(d) if the individual who made the objection does not provide satisfactory evidence as required by paragraph (c), the name is to stay on the list of voters.

(3) If a change is made as a result of an objection after the revised list of voters for the electoral district is prepared, the district registrar of voters must

(a) amend the copy of the revised list of voters provided by the chief electoral officer to show the change and initial the amendment, and

(b) notify the chief electoral officer of the change so that the Provincial list of voters may be amended.

Lists of voters generally

51  (1) Subject to section 275, the chief electoral officer may prepare and provide a list of voters to an individual or organization requesting it and may charge a fee for preparing and providing the list.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), on request and payment of the reasonable costs of reproduction, the chief electoral officer must provide a list of voters to a registered political party or member of the Legislative Assembly.

(3) For the purpose of tracing unauthorized use of lists of voters, including a list of voters used for election purposes, the chief electoral officer may have fictitious voter information included in a list of voters.

(4) Despite any other provision of this Act, the chief electoral officer may prepare a list of voters, including a list of voters used for election purposes, that omits or obscures the address of a voter or other information about a voter in order to protect the privacy or security of the voter.

Contents  |  Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6  |  Part 7  |  Part 8  |  Part 9  |  Part 10  |  Part 11  |  Part 12  |  Part 13  |  Schedule