British Columbia

Almost half a million British Columbians have requested a mail-in ballot

At least 474,000 British Columbians have requested a mail-in ballot for this year's election, a huge increase from the previous election.

474,000 ballots requested as of Wednesday night; in 2017, 6,500 mail-in votes were cast

Voting by mail is a safe option for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable going to the polls in person on Oct. 24, according to Elections BC. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

At least 474,000 British Columbians have requested a mail-in ballot for this year's election, a huge increase from the previous election.

It was expected that voting by mail would be a more popular option this year because of COVID-19, and that's proving true so far. In 2017, a total of 6,500 mail-in votes were cast.

Voting by mail is a safe option for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable going to the polls in person on Oct. 24, according to Elections BC.

Any voter in B.C. can request a vote-by-mail package from Elections BC online or by calling Voter Services at 1-800-661-8683. The package will be mailed to you or you can pick it up at one of 88 district electoral offices in B.C.

If you have already requested a mail-in ballot, it will look a little different — ballots requested before candidate nominations close on Oct. 2 won't come with candidate names.

You will need to find the names of the candidates in your district and write your choice on the ballot yourself. You can also write the name of your chosen party if you're unsure of who your candidate is, Elections BC said.

The package that includes your completed ballot needs to be back at a district electoral office before 8 p.m. PT on Oct. 24, or your vote will not count.

This means if you are mailing your package, rather than delivering it to the office in person, you should do it as early as possible.

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