Provincial legislation gives eligible B.C. residents the right to vote in general local elections and by-elections. This right is subject to certain restrictions, limitations and requirements. Additionally, local governments are required to provide access to voting, through various opportunities, such as an advance voting day.
In order to be eligible to vote in general local elections or by-elections as a resident or non-resident property elector, a person must:
- Be 18 years of age or older when they register to vote, or 18 years or older on general voting day
- Be a Canadian citizen
- Have been a resident of B. C. for at least six months before they register to vote
- Have either lived or owned property in the jurisdiction in which they intend to vote for at least 30 days before they register to vote
- Not be disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election
Voting rights are granted to citizens based on residency or property ownership. There is no corporate or business vote in local elections.
Non-Resident Property Electors
When a person lives in one jurisdiction and owns property in one or more other jurisdictions, they may vote once in each of the other jurisdictions where they own property — as long as they meet the voter eligibility requirements.
If a person owns a property with one or more other individuals, only one person is eligible to vote as the non-resident property elector for that property. The owner entitled to vote must be designated, in writing, by the majority of the property owners.
A person cannot vote on behalf of a corporation, or as a non-resident property elector, based on a property owned wholly or in part by a corporation.
Students who live in one jurisdiction and attend an educational institution in a jurisdiction different from their usual place of residence may vote only once–either in the jurisdiction where they attend school or in the jurisdiction that is their usual place of residence.