Parksville will consider providing mail-in ballots for future municipal elections.
Council voted in favour of Coun. Sean Wood’s motion for city staff to investigate the process and procedures necessary to provide mail-in ballots for future Parksville elections and report back with information and options.
“I think it’s important to the electoral process to be as accessible to legitimate voting as possible and I think any slight delay there may be to count the ballots is definitely worth having,” said Wood.
Coun. Amit Gaur mentioned a member of the public told him they did not vote in the October municipal election because mail-in ballots were not an option.
“It speaks to the urgency and the need to have this in our community where we have so many seniors and people with disabilities,” he said.
Coun. Adam Fras asked if procedures would cover the integrity of the identities of people who mail in ballots and raised the possibility of ballots being stolen from boxes and submitted fraudulently.
“I have not been made aware of any fraudulent ballots here in Canada,” Wood said. “But I would assume that when staff investigate into the process and procedures that those necessary security cautions would be taken into account.”
The motion was amended by Coun. Joel Grenz to provide for secure mail-in ballots for future Parksville elections.
It will likely take several months for city staff to report back to council, according to the city’s chief administration officer, Keeva Kehler, but well ahead of the 2026 election.
The amended motion was carried unanimously.