How to vote in the Transportation and Transit Referendum
By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
Both the “Yes” and “No” side have been fighting to win the upcoming Transportation and Transit Referendum, but the decision will ultimately lie with voters in the Metro Vancouver area.
The first of the ballots, which will be mailed to every registered voter in Greater Vancouver, must be mailed back by May 29. Postage will be provided by Elections BC.
How do you vote on this very important issue?
First of all, be sure that you are registered to vote. It only takes a couple of minutes to register to vote at Elections.bc.ca. If you are already a registered voter, the ballot should have no problem arriving at your address.
You must meet certain eligibility criteria in order to vote in the plebiscite. If you are not a Canadian citizen, over the age of 18 (prior to May 29), have not been a resident of BC for at least six months, or don’t live in the Lower Mainland, then you will not be eligible to vote. Residents of the Fraser Valley—including Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, and Hope—cannot vote in the referendum.
However, not having a permanent address will not disqualify a person from voting in the referendum. Those who have no permanent address can use the address of the place they are staying at, even if that place is a shelter.
If you do not receive a voting package in the mail by March 27, you should contact Elections BC. They will mail one to you, or help get you set up with one. If you need help with something and cannot get help with it either online or via phone, you will be able to get help at one of the nine plebiscite offices once they open on April 13. Keep in mind that the last day to ask for a new voting package is on May 15.
Those who have a disability that could hinder them from being able to vote may have someone fill out the ballot on their behalf. However, that person must follow certification instructions, which will be included in the voting package.
Be aware of the question before you vote. The question in this referendum is, “Do you support a new 0.5 per cent Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Council transportation and transit plan?” It is in your best interest to evaluate both sides of this question before making an informed decision.