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This archived statute consolidation is current to June 17, 2015 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date. For the most current information, click here.
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Local Government Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323

Part 4 — Assent Voting

Division 1 — Interpretation

Definitions

157  The definitions in Part 3 apply to this Part and, in addition, in this Part:

"assent voting" means voting conducted for a municipality or regional district on a matter referred to in section 158;

"voting area" means an area for which the applicable assent voting is to be conducted.

Assent voting to be conducted in same manner as an election

158  (1) This Part applies to the following:

(a) voting on a bylaw or other matter for which assent of the electors is required;

(b) voting on a bylaw or other matter for which the local government is authorized by this or another Act to obtain the assent of the electors, unless otherwise provided by the authorizing enactment;

(c) voting on a referendum under section 797.3 [referendums regarding regional district services].

(2) Except as otherwise provided, Part 3 [Electors and Elections] applies in relation to

(a) voting referred to in subsection (1) as if the assent voting for the voting area were an election for an election area, and

(b) non-election assent voting advertising as if it were election advertising.

(3) For certainty, Division 17 [Election Offences] of Part 3 applies in relation to assent voting.

Division 2 — Assent of the Electors

How assent is obtained

159  (1) Unless otherwise provided in this Act, assent of the electors to a bylaw or other matter is obtained only if a majority of the votes counted as valid are in favour of the bylaw or question.

(2) If a bylaw that requires the assent of the electors does not receive that assent, a bylaw for the same purpose may not be submitted to the electors within a period of 6 months from the last submission except with the minister's approval.

(3) [Repealed 2003-52-182.]

Repealed

160  [Repealed 2003-52-183.]

Division 3 — Proceedings for Assent Voting

Who may vote at assent voting

161  (1) In order to vote at assent voting, a person must meet both the following requirements:

(a) the person must meet the qualifications of section 50 as a resident elector, or section 51 as a non-resident property elector, in relation to the voting area for which the assent voting is to be conducted;

(b) the person must be registered in accordance with subsection (2).

(2) To vote in assent voting a person must

(a) be registered, on or before the date established under subsection (5) (a) if applicable, as an elector of the municipality or electoral area to which the person's qualifications referred to in subsection (1) (a) relate, or

(b) register immediately before voting,

(i) as an elector of the municipality or electoral area to which the person's qualifications referred to in subsection (1) (a) relate, or

(ii) as an elector for the purposes of the assent voting only.

(3) A person may vote only once on a question submitted for assent voting, even though the voting is conducted in more than one voting area and the person is entitled to vote in relation to more than one voting area.

(4) Registration referred to in subsection (2) (b) (ii) is effective only for the assent voting being conducted at that time.

(5) If assent voting is not being held at the same time as an election for a municipality or electoral area in which the assent voting is to be conducted and advance registration for the municipality or electoral area is available under section 56,

(a) the chief election officer must establish a date after which registration as an elector of the municipality or electoral area will not entitle the person to vote at the assent voting and the person must instead register under subsection (2) (b) of this section in order to vote, and

(b) sections 62 (3), (6) and (7) [list of registered electors], 64 [objection to registration of an elector] and 65 [resolving objections] do not apply to the municipality or electoral area in relation to the assent voting.

(6) If subsection (5) applies, at least 6 but not more than 30 days before the date established under paragraph (a) of that subsection, the chief election officer must give notice in accordance with section 44 of

(a) how a person may register in advance, and

(b) the date after which advance registration will not apply for the purposes of the assent voting.

General voting day for assent voting

162  (1) An authority in or under this or any other Act for the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a minister or the inspector to require a bylaw or other matter to be submitted for assent of the electors includes the authority to set a general voting day for obtaining that assent, subject to the restriction that general voting day must be on a Saturday.

(2) Unless general voting day is set under subsection (1), the chief election officer must set general voting day for assent voting to be on a Saturday in accordance with the following:

(a) in the case of a bylaw that is directed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a minister or the inspector to be submitted for the assent of electors, not more than 80 days after the date of the direction;

(b) in the case of a bylaw or other matter for which an alternative approval process was provided, not more than 80 days after the deadline for receiving elector responses under section 86 [alternative approval process] of the Community Charter;

(c) subject to paragraph (b), in the case of a bylaw requiring the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the inspector or a minister, not more than 80 days after the day of the approval or, if there is more than one approval required, of the last approval;

(d) in the case of other bylaws, not more than 80 days after the day the bylaw receives third reading;

(e) in the case of another matter, not more than 80 days after adoption of the authorizing bylaw or resolution.

Arrangements for assent voting

163  (1) In order for a bylaw under this Part or a bylaw referred to in section 39 to apply in relation to assent voting, the bylaw must be adopted at least 6 weeks before general voting day for the assent voting.

(2) Unless subsection (3) or (4) applies, voting opportunities for the assent voting are those established under Part 3 for the assent voting.

(3) Voting opportunities in a voting area for assent voting must be the same as those for an election being held at the same time as the assent voting if

(a) the municipality or regional district for which the election is being held is conducting the assent voting for the voting area, and

(b) the voting area for the assent voting is all or part of the election area for the election.

(4) As an exception to section 97 (2) (b) for a voting area with a population of more than 5 000, a regional district board may, by bylaw, limit advance voting opportunities to the required advance voting opportunity under section 97 (2) (a) if all the following circumstances apply to the assent voting:

(a) mail ballot voting is available under section 100 (3) (b);

(b) the area specified for the purposes of section 100 (3) (b) includes all of the voting area for the assent voting;

(c) the voting area is part but not all of an electoral area;

(d) the assent voting is not being held at the same time as an election for the electoral area.

Notice of assent voting

164  (1) In place of a notice of election under section 77, at least 6 but not more than 30 days before general voting day for assent voting, the chief election officer must issue a notice of assent voting under this section in accordance with section 44.

(2) In addition to subsection (1), throughout the period between the 30th day before general voting day and general voting day, the notice of assent voting

(a) must be available for public inspection in the local government offices, during their regular office hours, of each municipality or regional district in which the assent voting is to be conducted, and

(b) may be made available at other locations and times as the chief election officer considers appropriate.

(3) A notice of voting must include the following information:

(a) the question that is to be voted on;

(b) the voting area;

(c) the qualifications required to be met in order to vote as an elector for the assent voting;

(d) the date of general voting day, the voting places established under section 95 for that day and the voting hours for those places;

(d.1) the documents that will be required in order for a person to register as an elector at the time of voting;

(d.2) the place where persons may apply on general voting day for non-resident property elector certificates required in order to register at the time of voting;

(e) if applicable, information required to be included under section 103 (5) regarding municipal voting divisions.

(4) If the assent voting is on a bylaw submitted for the assent of the electors or is authorized by a bylaw, the notice of voting must also include the following:

(a) either a copy of the bylaw or, if approved by the local government, a synopsis of the bylaw in accordance with subsection (5);

(b) if a synopsis of the bylaw is included, a statement that the synopsis is not an interpretation of the bylaw;

(c) the dates, times and places at which the bylaw may be inspected.

(5) A synopsis under subsection (4) (a) must include

(a) in general terms, the intent of the bylaw,

(b) the area that is the subject of the bylaw, and

(c) if applicable, the amount of the borrowing authorized by the bylaw.

(6) If subsection (4) applies, a full copy of the bylaw must be available for inspection by electors

(a) at the local government offices, during their regular office hours, of each municipality or regional district in which the assent voting is to be conducted, and

(b) at each place where voting is conducted.

(7) The notice of voting may also include any other information the chief election officer considers appropriate.

Ballots for assent voting

165  (1) A ballot for assent voting must

(a) indicate the appropriate mark to make a valid vote indicating assent or dissent, and

(b) be in a question form to which the elector may indicate assent or dissent by making the appropriate mark opposite the word "Yes" or the word "No".

(2) Unless otherwise provided under this or another Act, separate ballots must be prepared for each question that is to be voted on.

When counting for assent voting is to be done

166  (1) As an exception to section 123, the counting of the vote for assent voting may be held at a later time set by the chief election officer, as long as the ballots are counted before the date of the declaration of the assent voting results under section 136.

(2) If a later time for counting is set under subsection (1), the presiding election official must ensure that the ballots are sealed in ballot boxes in accordance with section 111 and are delivered to the chief election officer with the materials referred to in section 133.

Special procedures if voting is conducted by more than one local government

167  (1) This section applies to assent voting on a regional district bylaw or other regional district matter that is to be conducted by more than one local government.

(2) The regional district board must, by bylaw,

(a) establish the question to be used for all the voting, and

(b) if applicable, set the date for the required advance voting day under section 97 (2) (b) for all voting areas other than a voting area referred to in section 163 (3) or (4).

(3) Except for a voting area referred to in section 163 (3), the bylaws under sections 96, 98 and 99 of a local government other than the regional district board do not apply and, instead, the regional district may, by bylaw, establish voting opportunities under those sections for one or more voting areas for the assent voting.

(4) The regional district board must appoint

(a) a regional voting officer for the assent voting, and

(b) a deputy regional voting officer for the assent voting who, if the regional voting officer is absent or unable to act, must perform the duties and has the powers of the regional voting officer.

(5) The regional voting officer has the following duties and powers:

(a) to arrange for the coordination of the proceedings throughout the regional district;

(b) to set the general voting day for all voting throughout the regional district;

(c) to arrange for the preparation of the ballots for the voting;

(d) to direct the chief election officers for the local governments regarding the form and manner of notices that are required or authorized by this Act regarding the voting;

(e) to make the final determination and declaration of assent voting results under sections 135 and 136 based on the results determined by the chief election officers of the local governments;

(f) to appoint the scrutineers for the final determination of assent voting results and any judicial recount in accordance with section 172 (4) and (5);

(g) to apply to the minister for an order under section 155.

(6) If there is a conflict between this section or an authority under this section and another provision of this Act or an authority under this Act, this section or the authority under it prevails.

Other general matters

168  (1) Notices under this Part may be combined with notices under Part 3, as it applies to elections or to assent voting, as long as the requirements of all applicable sections are met.

(2) Section 149, requiring the publication of election results in the Gazette, does not apply to assent voting.

(3) Regulations under section 156, as it applies to assent voting, may be different for different types of assent voting.

Division 4 — Scrutineers

Scrutineers for assent voting

169  (1) Scrutineers for the question in assent voting and scrutineers against the question must be appointed under section 172 if applications in accordance with section 171 are received from persons who wish to volunteer for the positions.

(2) Only persons entitled to vote as electors in the assent voting are entitled to act as scrutineers for the assent voting, but election officials must not be appointed as scrutineers for the assent voting.

(3) Unless a bylaw under subsection (4) applies, only one scrutineer for the question and one scrutineer against the question may be present at each place at which scrutineers are entitled by Part 3 to be present.

(4) A local government may, by bylaw, permit additional scrutineers to be present at proceedings referred to in subsection (3), subject to any restrictions and conditions in the bylaw.

(5) As a limit on the authority under subsection (4), a bylaw under that subsection may not provide for different entitlements for scrutineers for the question and scrutineers against the question.

(6) The absence of a scrutineer from a place where proceedings for assent voting are being conducted does not invalidate anything done in relation to the assent voting.

Notice of applications to volunteer as a scrutineer

170  (1) Not more than 30 days before the application period begins, the chief election officer must issue a notice under this section in accordance with section 44.

(2) The notice must include the following information:

(a) the question that is to be voted on;

(b) the dates, times and places at which applications for scrutineers will be received;

(c) how interested persons can obtain information on the requirements and procedures for making an application.

(3) The notice may include any other information the chief election officer considers appropriate.

(4) In addition to subsection (1), from the sixth day before the application period begins until the close of the application period, the notice must be available for public inspection in the local government offices, during their regular office hours, of each municipality or regional district in which the assent voting is being conducted.

Applications to volunteer to act as scrutineer for assent voting

171  (1) The chief election officer must establish a 10-day time period during which applications to act as a scrutineer will be received, in order that appointments may be made before the first voting opportunity.

(1.1) As an exception to subsection (1), if general voting day for assent voting is the general voting day for an election, the period for receiving applications

(a) may be established under subsection (1), and

(b) if it is not established under subsection (1), is the nomination period referred to in section 69.

(2) An application to act as a scrutineer for assent voting must be signed by the applicant and contain the following information:

(a) the full name of the person applying;

(b) the address to which the person applying wishes to have notices sent;

(c) if required by the chief election officer, a telephone number at which the person applying may be contacted;

(d) a statement that the applicant is entitled to vote as an elector in the assent voting and is entitled to act as a scrutineer for the assent voting;

(e) a statement as to whether the applicant is in favour of the question or opposed to the question;

(f) any other information required to be included by a regulation under subsection (4).

(3) In order to be appointed as a scrutineer, the application to volunteer as a scrutineer must be received by the chief election officer, or a person designated by the chief election officer for this purpose, before the end of the application period under subsection (1).

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing information that must be included in an application under this section.

Appointment of scrutineers for assent voting

172  (1) The chief election officer must

(a) on the basis of the applications received in accordance with section 171, appoint applicants in favour of the question as scrutineers for the question and applicants opposed to the question as scrutineers against the question, and

(b) assign scrutineers to each place at which scrutineers are entitled to be present under Part 3.

(2) If the number of applicants on one side of the question is fewer than the maximum allowed under section 169,

(a) all these applicants must be appointed as scrutineers in accordance with subsection (1), and

(b) a scrutineer may be assigned to more than one place if the hours or days of the proceedings at which scrutineers are entitled to be present allow this.

(3) If there are more applicants on one side of the question than the maximum allowed under section 169, the following rules apply:

(a) the scrutineers for that side must be determined by lot in accordance with the procedure used in section 107 (4) (a) to (d);

(b) the chief election officer must notify all applicants of the date, time and place of the determination by lot and these applicants are entitled to be present;

(c) names are to be drawn until the number of names drawn is equivalent to the number of scrutineers to be appointed;

(d) the persons whose names are drawn must be appointed as scrutineers in accordance with subsection (1);

(e) in the discretion of the chief election officer, additional names may be drawn of persons who may be appointed if applicants appointed under paragraph (d) are unable to act as scrutineers.

(4) In addition to the appointments under subsection (1), one scrutineer for the question and one scrutineer against the question is entitled to be present at the final determination under section 135 of the assent voting and at any judicial recount of the assent voting.

(5) Scrutineers referred to in subsection (4) must be appointed in accordance with the following:

(a) the appointment must be made from among those persons who acted as scrutineers under subsection (1) and who indicate that they wish to be considered for the appointment;

(b) if, for a side of the question, more than one person wishes to be considered for appointment, the choice must be made by lot in accordance with subsection (3).

(6) A scrutineer appointment must

(a) be made in writing,

(b) state the name and address of the person appointed,

(c) state the proceedings to which the scrutineer has been assigned under this section and the dates, times and places where these are to be conducted, and

(d) be signed by the chief election officer.

Division 5

Repealed

172.1-172.91  [Repealed 2003-52-185.] 

Contents | Part 1 | Part 1.1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 5.1 | Part 5.2 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 10.1 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30