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October 19, 2018, 10:54 pm

British Columbians Head to the Polls for Local Elections

CivicInfo BC
VICTORIA - On October 20th, British Columbians are heading to the polls to elect their local officials for the next four years.  Over 3,300 candidates are running for a local office in communities across the province.  It sounds like an enormous number, and it is.  Consider this:
 
  • In the 2017 BC provincial election, only 369 candidates ran for a seat in the legislature.
  • In the 2015 federal election, 1,792 candidates ran across the entire country.

In short, when it comes to the number of candidates, a BC local  election is about nine times the size of a British Columbial provincial election, and nearly twice the size of a federal contest.

The number of individual races is staggering as well. A provincial election in British Columbia sees contests in 87 electoral districts. In contrast, when local elections are held, more than 250 municipalities, regional districts, school boards are in play.

The playing field itself is also incredibly complicated. Some local governments use the provincial voters list. Others register voters directly at local polls. BC municipalities - with the exception of the District of Lake Country - elect their mayors and councillors at large.  Regional districts, on the other hand, have electoral areas that are essentially wards. And when it comes to trustee elections, school districts can have any combination of these variables. 

This and more makes it an enormous challenge to provide a central reporting hub for near-live local election results, but CivicInfo BC has proudly worked with election officials and media partners to do so since 2008. After the votes are counted on October 20th, see it all on our election site at bc.localelections.ca

About CivicInfo BC

CivicInfo BC is what BC's Ministry of Municipal Affairs calls a "Local Government System Organization"; defined simply as a "key resource for local government elected officials and staff".  System organizations like CivicInfo BC often serve a collective need, performing tasks that may not be effective for local governments to do on their own1. An example of such a service is our centralized local government election reporting system.

An incorporated not-for-profit local government information agency, CivicInfo BC is based Saanich, in Greater Victoria, on Vancouver Island.  We provide wide variety of research services and tools, many of which can be accessed at www.civicinfo.bc.ca.

The organziation governed by a Board of Directors drawn from local governments across BC, and run by a small staff complement. We are service-driven, independent, and non-partisan.

1 Source: Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/facts-framework/local-government-system-organizations
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