British Columbia Bill 20: Election Amendment Act

Bill 20, the Election Amendment Act, was introduced into the B.C. legislature by the Honourable Suzanne Anton and passed first reading on March 24, 2015.

What does this bill do? Here are some of the highlights:

1. It gets rid of the preliminary and revised lists of voters. Instead, once an election is called, the voters list will be set. Electors will only be able to register or update their voting information in connection with voting.

2. It adds two more advanced voting opportunities. Additional advanced voting opportunities will be on the Saturday and Sunday of the week immediately preceding the week before general voting day.

3. It removes the concept of the 60 day pre-campaign period that applied to election expense limits and third party advertising. This brings the Election Act (British Columbia) into compliance with the reasons for judgment of the B.C. Court of Appeal in the reference regarding third party election advertising.

4. Constituency associations are now allowed to incur election expenses during the campaign period.

5. Messages transmitted on the internet and for the sole purpose of encouraging voters to vote will be excepted from the prohibition on election advertising on general voting day. Candidates, parties and organizations will be allowed to use Twitter (as well as other online advertising platforms) on voting day to encourage people to vote without violating the Election Act.

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