Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω
The chief of Elections B.C. was at TRU March 13 to encourage more students to vote in the May 14 election. Part of that effort will include a chance to vote on campus.
Keith Archer, the chief electoral officer, was available along with elected members of TRUSU at a voter registration table in the Campus Activities Centre for an hour before giving a speech. The day before, there was a registration table at TRU New Residence.
“We were really excited to hear that Dr. Archer would be coming to TRU,” said Dylan Robinson, TRUSU’s vice president external. “Of course, him being the chief electoral officer, I think it speaks to the importance that Elections B.C. is putting on youth participation in the electoral process.”
As part of that, Elections B.C. is looking at putting a polling station on campus for a single day. While full details will be released closer to Election Day, the station will tentatively be in the Independent Centre on May 9.
“It was clear that there was an interest among some in this campus to have a voting place physically on campus,” Archer said, adding that since Election Day is happening after classes are over, it’s harder to determine what the demand will be for universities.
Robinson, who has been working on a campaign to have an on-campus voting station since last summer, was pleased to hear that news.
“We’re very excited to hear that they’ve taken our advice into consideration and are hopefully holding an advance poll on campus,” he said.
Archer said Elections B.C. has been working to make sure the voters’ list is up to date since Feb. 25. Part of that effort has been to send letters to every household to confirm if the list’s information is correct.
“In addition to that, we’re doing a targeted outreach for the first time in British Columbia and the target outreach is intended to provide additional registration opportunities for those groups of voters that are less likely to be on the voters’ list,” he said.
Those targeted include youth, First Nations, those that move around a lot, those living in new residential areas and those that don’t speak English as a first language.
“We’re on the campus of TRU today as part of that effort to increase the prominence of voter registration during this period of targeted activities and we’ve had a great reception from the students union,” Archer said.
There are plenty of methods for students to vote, Archer said.
“In B.C., you can vote at any voting place,” he said. “Even though we assign you to a particular voting place, you don’t need to vote there. You can vote at another voting place that’s more convenient.”
Elections B.C. will be releasing a smartphone app that points the user to the closest voting station. Voters can also organize a mail-in ballot or vote early at an advance voting station or at the district electoral office at 100-1967 East Trans-Canada Highway after April 8.