Rossland city council will not proceed with mail ballot voting after all. File photo

Rossland city council will not proceed with mail ballot voting after all. File photo

Rossland city council shreds mail ballot voting idea

Staff said current B.C. legislation prevents most people from casting ballot by mail

Rossland city council has decided not to move forward with mail ballot voting in the community.

Mayor Kathy Moore said one reason council opted not to proceed was because most people aren’t allowed to cast their ballot by mail under B.C.’s Local Government Act.

According to an online report submitted by city executive assistant Alison Worsfold, the act only lets you vote by mail during a municipal election if you have a physical disability, illness or injury or if you’re temporarily away from home.

“We’re trying to think of different ways to get people engaged and get everyone to come out to vote,” said Moore. “However, this staff report showed council that under the legislation that currently exists, that definitely wasn’t going to be the case.”

The report showed that mail ballot voting hadn’t increased voter turnout in most B.C. communities where it’s been implemented.

In Trail, the report said only 2.4 per cent of people mailed their ballot in during the 2014 and 2018 general local election.

The report said Victoria had less than one per cent of people mail their ballot in during the 2018 general local election.

Despite the obstacles, Moore said she still hopes to implement more voting options for Rosslanders.

“We’re hoping to send a resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities next year, asking them to take a look at the voting act and maybe modernize it,” said Moore.

“While one of our councillors pointed out that mail ballot voting isn’t very modern, we could look electronic or other ways of voting.”

Electronic or mail ballot voting could also increase voter turnout in elections during health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, Moore suggested.

The document estimated mail ballot voting would increase election costs for the city by up to $1,500.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

voting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Chris Kobelka
Trail Smoke Eaters recruit top prospects

Trail Smoke Eaters building for future in 17-year-old defencemen Joel Barton and Chris Kobelka

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Energy consultant Michèle Deluca and city building inspector Sam Ellison are researching how to account for embodied carbon when calculating a new building’s carbon footprint. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson researches climate impact of embodied carbon in new buildings

Embodied carbon is the footprint of the manufacture and transport of building materials

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read