VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer, has submitted a report to the Legislative Assembly recommending changes to the Election Act.
Archer says his recommendations are aimed at increasing the accessibility and efficiency of the electoral process in the province. The most prominent of the main recommendations in the report are to allow 16- and 17-year-olds who will become eligible to vote to pre-register, so that they will be added to the voters list automatically when they turn 18.
Archer is also recommending that Elections BC be provided with greater access to information held by public bodies to help maintain the provincial voters list, and using technology to modernize voting and counting administration while maintaining paper ballots. In addition, he suggests making the election period longer during a snap general election to allow more time for candidate nominations, material distribution, staffing, and communicating with voters.
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Archer’s report also proposes a new administrative model for counting votes, which he says could be implemented under any form of electoral system. The model would maintain most facets of the current administrative model while eliminating the need for the final count of absentee ballots, which under current legislation takes place 13 days after General Voting Day.
Finally, Archer recommends establishing a legislative committee to work towards implementing the proposed administrative model over the next three to six years.
Archer’s full report can be read here: http://elections.bc.ca/docs/rpt/2018-CEO-Recommendations.pdf