The Regional District of Nanaimo will allow mail-in ballot voting during the general election on Oct. 15.
The board on June 14 endorsed the adoption of the Regional District of Nanaimo General Local Election Amendment Bylaw No. 1772.01, 2022.
Only Parksville director Adam Fras opposed the motion. He doesn’t agree with mail ballot voting unless voters are sick. Fras said one of the benefits of voting at polling stations in person is the ability to cast ballots without any undue influence from others.
Mail-in ballots, Fras explained, creates an opportunity for people getting pressure at home by friends or family members as they fill out the ballot openly for others to see.
“It removes that integrity of getting to cast your own vote,” said Fras. “How often does this happen? I don’t know. I have seen that kind of pressure personally myself so I am not in favour of mail-in ballot option.”
The current regional district elections bylaw restricts mail ballot voting only to eligible voters:
• Persons who have a physical disability, illness or injury that affects their ability to vote at another voting opportunity;
• Persons who expect to be absent from the Regional District of Nanaimo on general voting day and at the times of all advance voting opportunities; or
• Persons who reside in the following areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo that are remote from voting places at which they are entitled to vote: (i) DeCourcy Island; (ii) Mudge Island.
The amendment to the bylaw would allow for mail ballot voting opportunities for all eligible voters and includes refined procedures for application of mail ballots, procedures for processing and counting mail ballots, and a revised section to provide additional clarity on the use of the provincial list of voters and same day registration.