Election marred by vandalism

Elections B.C. urges the public to contact police if they have knowledge or see signs being stolen or vandalized.

  • May. 3, 2013 8:00 p.m.

The provincial election is now upon us and the lawns and ditches of the electoral district display the blue, orange or other colours of signs of the respective parties.

But as is the case with most election years, some see the colourful signs as an opportunity for mischief and steal or deface the signs.

Already there have been some complaints from party representatives.

“Over the last two federal campaigns and the last two provincial campaigns, the NDP sign boss has never seen this level of vandalism,” said Jennifer Burgis, who is working with Norma Blissett’s campaign.

Donna Cummins, district elections officer for Kootenay East, said that if there is sign vandalism, it’s something that likely happens every election.

She said the Elections B.C. doesn’t deal with vandalism or theft of the signs.

Elections B.C. urges the public to contact police if they have knowledge or see signs being stolen or vandalized.

The RCMP said that sign vandals could be charged with Mischief under the Criminal Code, Section 430. Wilful damage to election signs is not covered under the B.C. Elections Act but rather  by the police or municipality.

Elections B.C. itself deals with placement of signs and sometimes the removal of unwanted signs.

“They can’t have a sign around a voting place,” she said, explaining that as the office was a voting place, no signs are permitted nearby.

On the subject of voting, Cummins said there is still plenty of time and ways to get your vote in, even before general election day.

The general day for voting is May 14, but there are four advanced voting days on May 8 – 10 which give opportunity to get your ballot cast as well.

Cummins said if those days don’t work, then people can go in for absentee voting at the downtown district electoral office at 113 Baker Street.

“If people are going to be away during any of those general voting times, then they can come into the office,” Cummins said.

She said in the last election, most people voted in the advanced voting days of the election.

For the advanced voting days, the hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. However on the general voting day May 14, the hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. because they have to match up with the election times in Victoria.

“The law says 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific time, so it has to be 9 – 9 here,” she said, adding that there were people who showed up at 8 a.m. last time and had to come back at 9 a.m.

You can also vote absentee if you are from out of town or in another city as long as you bring the required ID and are registered.

People should also be receiving their “where to vote” card in the mail.

For more info on voting contact the district electoral office at 250-417-6006.