Would you like democracy with that? Saanich proposes drive-thru voting
Published Monday, October 23, 2017 11:44AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, October 23, 2017 6:55PM PDT
With B.C.'s municipal elections just under a year away, a Saanich councillor is proposing alternative methods to get people voting – such as drive-thru polling stations.
The idea is part of a recommendation made by Coun. Judy Brownoff to encourage a higher voter turnout when residents head to the polls on Oct. 20, 2018.
Brownoff pointed to similar efforts made in Calgary during its recent municipal election.
Officials there set up a drive-thru station so voters didn't even need to get out of their cars to cast their ballots.
Drivers were instructed to pull up to one of four polling lanes with workers on hand to check identification and hand them a portable "voting booth" containing all relevant ballots.
Brownoff said Saanich needs to provide as many opportunities as it can for residents to be able to cast their votes.
"Municipalities are the closest level of government to our residents," she said. "Whether university or college students or seniors or someone with mobility issues, voting is a democratic right which we have in Canada and do take seriously."
If approved, Brownoff's recommendation will see staff report on mobile and drive-thru stations as well as identify more high-profile voting centres such as Saanich's recreation facilities.
Council will vote on the recommendation at a meeting Monday night.
Saanich wouldn't be the first municipality on Vancouver Island to use drive-thru voting.
The method was used one polling station in Comox in the 2013 provincial election because it was at a car dealership.
Only 28,517 of 80,986 eligible voters cast their ballots in Saanich in the 2014 election – or 35.21 per cent.