When you think of elections, you probably think of federal or provincial elections, but did you know that it’s the municipal government officials who are directly responsible for decisions that affect your community?
This is especially true for people with disabilities like spinal cord injury (SCI) – many of the accessibility concerns we hear about on our InfoLine and in our Peer Program are decisions made by city or regional councils and school boards: curb cuts, accessible transit, zoning, traffic control, community recreation centres, inclusive fitness programming, parking, and public school accessibility.
This October 15, eligible BC residents go to the polls in local elections to choose city or regional government councillors and school board officials (in Vancouver, Parks Board members). Each local government administers its own elections, but all are empowered to offer a variety of accessible voting methods that you can take advantage of, including voting by mail, curbside voting, voting at long term care facilities, use of ballot marking tools, swearing in a support person to assist in marking your ballot, and homebound voting teams. Unfortunately, not every community is offering every option, so we’ve collected local election accessible voting details for communities where SCI BC provides the most programming below. If you need assistance finding accessible voting options or if your community is not in this list, reach out to us at 1-800-689-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve compiled some general accessibility information about voting procedures for many of the areas across BC. Find information your specific city or town below. Make sure to do your own research on which candidate represents your values the most. Follow your local news or tune into debates to find out more about each candidate so that you can make an informed decision.
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Please note: This information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge, taken from municipal voting websites or from emails with cities’ electoral officers, however, we cannot guarantee this information won’t change over the next month. Accessibility of voting locations is reported by municipal staff who may have different perceptions of what accessible means.
- Applications to request a mail in ballot is now closed. Completed packages must be received by the Election Office by October 15 at 8:00 pm
More information on the election in Abbotsford.
- All eligible voters will be able to apply to vote by mail ballot. Deadline to apply is October 6 at 12:00 pm.
- Obtain your ballot by applying online
- Call 604-294-7088 to request a mail ballot and all requests must be made by the deadline September 30 at 12:00pm
- Mail ballots can also be picked up at the Burnaby Election Office in Christine Sinclair Community Centre. When you arrive, call 604-294-7088 and someone will bring the mail ballot to you.
- Curbside voting is not available at every location. View this map to see all the curbside voting options.
- Mail ballet package requests can be made online. Deadline to apply is October 13 at 2:00pm
More information on the election in Chiliwack.
- All eligible electors have the opportunity to cast their vote by mail ballot. Requests for a mail ballot voting package can be made at the Comox Town Hall no later than October 13 at 4:00pm. Mail ballot voting packages can be requested by contacting Comox Town Hall at 250.339.2202.
More information on the election in Comox.
- Mail ballots are available to all eligible voters
- All voting places are wheelchair accessible
- Assistance is available to voters that are not able to mark a ballot with a physical disability or have difficulty with reading or writing
- Voters needing assistance to mark a ballot may bring a friend who will be required to sign a declaration, or ask an election official for assistance
- ALS translation will be available at Florence Filberg Centre on general voting day
More information on the election in Courtenay.
Fort St. John
- Mail ballots are available
- Special voting opportunities at senior care facilities
More information on the election in Fort St. John.
- Mail ballots available to all eligible voters.
More information on the election in Kamloops.
- Mail ballots will be available to all eligible voters and can be requested online. Deadline to request a mail ballot package is Thursday, October 13.
- Automatic ballot marker will be available at Parkinson Recreation Centre
More information on the election in Kelowna.
- All eligible voters must submit the Vote By Mail Application Form by email, mail, fax or in-person in order to receive a mail ballot package. If you are applying for a mail ballot package after Monday, October 3, please contact Legislative Services at 250-755-4405 as special arrangements may be necessary due to time constraints.
More information on the election in Nanaimo.
- All voting locations are wheelchair accessible
- Mail ballots available to all eligible voters and online applications run until October 10. Any packages requested on Wednesday, October 5 or later must be picked up at the North Vancouver City Hall.
- Curbside voting is available for electors who are not able to enter a voting place. Electors requiring curbside voting need to call 604-985-7761 once they have parked in the designated parking stall and an election official will then be notified to attend to the elector.
More information on the election in North Vancouver.
- Curbside voting will be available at all voting locations
- Vote in advance at Parksville Community Centre (Wednesday, October 5 or Wednesday, October 12)
More information on the election in Parksville.
- All voting locations are fully accessible and have curbside voting
- If the voter requires assistance at a voting location, they can request help from an election official or bring another individual to assist.
- Auto ballot marking machines are available at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre.
- To vote by mail, all eligible voters must complete an online Request to Vote by Mail Ballot Form by October 13 at 4:30 pm.
More information on the election in Prince George.
- Mail ballot available to all eligible voters. To apply, call the Mail Ballot Call Centre at 604-276-4100 or a simple online application system on the City website. After October 5, voters will be required to pick up their mail ballot package at Richmond City Hall.
- Accessible marking devices have descriptive audio, touch screen, braille, rocker paddle device, and sip and puff device are all available at Richmond City Hall on advance voting days.
- Some locations are not wheelchair accessible; however, they will have curbside voting available at all locations. Call 604-276-4100 once you have arrived at the voting place.
More information on the election in Richmond.
- Register to vote at Legislative Services Department on fifth floor at City Hall
- Mail ballots can be requested to all eligible voters until October 12
- All locations are wheelchair accessible
- There are six advance voting locations on October 5, 8, 9 and 12. You also can book an appointment at these following locations: Guildford Recreation Centre, Cloverdale Recreation Centre and Fleetwood Community Centre.
More information on the election in Surrey.
- Voting by mail is available until October 11 and needs to be requested through the online form
- Curbside voting is available
- Ballot marking devices are available at these locations: Roundhouse Community Centre and Trout Lake Community Centre
- The Homebound Voting Pilot Program allows voters who cannot leave their home to vote. Online applications close on October 11, 11:00am.
More information on the election in Vancouver.
Watch the City of Vancouver’s accessible voting video to learn more about accessible voting options in Vancouver.
- Curbside voting is available for people with disabilities if you cannot access the building
- If you bring someone with you to vote, they will need to sign a declaration form to assist you.
More information on the election in Vernon.
- All voting places are accessible
- Curbside voting is an option if individual cannot access voting place
- Accessible voting machines will be available at advance voting at Victoria City Hall. On voting day, it will be available at Central Middle School.
- Mail ballots will be available to all eligible voters by submitting an online application form or by calling 250.361.0571
- Voters needing assistance to mark their ballot may bring another person who will be required to sign a declaration, or ask an Election Official for assistance
More information on the election in Victoria.