Nanaimo-North Cowichan Electoral Office now open in Ladysmith

Officials from Elections B.C. set up shop in Ladysmith as voters prepare to head to the polls four weeks from today.

As our paper went to press, the writ was expected to drop on the provincial election today (April 16).

With the 2013 provincial election campaign underway, the Nanaimo-North Cowichan Electoral Office has opened in Ladysmith in the old Benjamin Moore building at 11 Buller St.

This is the hub for administering the election in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan, and about 430 temporary employees will be involved until the May 14 election, according to Lynda Poirier, the deputy district electoral officer for Nanaimo-North Cowichan.

“This is the central location for the riding to organize the whole event,” she explained. “It’s where all the ballot boxes are assembled. It’s where the candidates register for candidacy.”

The Electoral Office is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Under special circumstances, this is the spot to vote in advance in our riding.

For more information about the Nanaimo-North Cowichan Electoral Office, including job opportunities, visit the office in person or call 250-245-6600.

Poirier says Elections BC is working hard to let people know they can vote anywhere once the writ has dropped and to make voting accessible.

“Only 27 per cent of eligible voters under the age of 30 registered to vote in the last provincial election,” she said. “This year, Elections BC worked really hard to target younger voters and do community outreach in places where people don’t normally vote. We’re trying to get more people to vote, and the campaign for Elections BC is ‘B.C. has more ways to vote.’”

Registered voters will be able to vote by mail, at special voting opportunities and during General Election Day.

For more information about the election and to register as a voter, visit the Elections BC website at www.elections.bc.ca.

The first opportunity for Nanaimo-North Cowichan voters to meet and greet the candidates in our riding takes place today (April 16) at 7 p.m. at the South Wellington Community Hall (Cranberry Fire Hall) at 1555 Morden Rd.

The members of the South Wellington and Area Community Association are holding a different kind of All Candidates Meeting on the first day of the provincial election campaign. Instead of the usual question-and-answer session, candidates will have five minutes to introduce themselves, and then will meet and mingle with those attending over coffee, tea and goodies for an informal coffee party.

For more information, contact Doug Catley at 250-753-4861.

At the provincial level, B.C. party leaders will take part in at least two debates in the run-up to the May 14 election.

CKNW radio is hosting a leaders’ debate Friday, April 26 at 9 a.m. Invited to take part are B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark, NDP leader Adrian Dix, Green Party leader Jane Sterk and B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins.

A one-hour television debate is set for Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. on Global TV, also featuring the four major party leaders.