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Here's a guide to voting in New Westminster's local election

Wondering when, where and how to vote in the New Westminster civic election? We've got you covered.
New Westminster residents are getting set to choose a mayor, city council and school board. We've rounded up everything you need to know for the 2022 civic election.

Residents of New Westminster will be heading to the polls on Oct. 15 for the next B.C. general local elections.

As Voting Day approaches, we’ve rounded up a list of what you need to know to vote in New West — with information courtesy of the City of New Westminster Voter’s Guide.

Who am I voting for?

You’ll be casting your ballot for one mayor, six councillors and seven school board trustees.

You can cast your vote for any number of candidates up to the maximum of available spots. (You do not have to vote for a full six council candidates or a full seven school trustee candidates.)

In New Westminster in 2022, there are three candidates running for mayor, 12 candidates running for city councillor, and nine running for school trustee.

To find out who they are, check out this list of New Westminster candidates, with biographical snippets.

We also have full Q&As with the candidates posted on our website — check out the links at the right-hand side of our election page.

When can I vote?

General Voting Day is Saturday, Oct. 15, when polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can also vote in advance on Wednesday, Oct. 5; Saturday, Oct. 8; and Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  on all three days.

You also have the option to vote by mail (see more below).

Where do I vote in New Westminster?

On General Voting Day, you can vote in person at any of the 15 polling stations in New Westminster. You do not have a designated polling station; you can choose whichever location is most convenient for you.

  • Queen Elizabeth Elementary School, gym, 921 Salter St.
  • Connaught Heights Elementary School, gym, 2201 London St.
  • Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School, gym, 1714 Eighth Ave.
  • Lord Kelvin Elementary School, gym, 1010 Hamilton St.
  • St. Barnabas Anglican Church, parish hall, 1010 Fifth Ave.
  • Century House, Douglas/Fir Rooms, 620 Eighth St.
  • Fraser River Middle School, gym, 800 Queens Ave.
  • Anvil Centre, main floor, 777 Columbia St.
  • Queens Avenue United Church, gym, 529 Queens Ave.
  • Qayqayt Elementary School, gym, 85 Merivale St.
  • Herbert Spencer Elementary School, gym, 605 Second St.
  • Glenbrook Middle School, gym, 701 Park Cres.
  • F.W.  Howay Elementary School, gym, 91 Courtney Cres.
  • Skwo:wech Elementary School, gym, 331 Richmond St.
  • Sapperton Pensioners Hall, basement, 318 Keary St.

Advance voting locations in New Westminster

On Advance Voting days, you can vote at the following:

  • Oct. 5: Queensborough Community Centre, Poplar Island Room, 920 Ewen Ave.
  • Oct. 5 and 12: New Westminster City Hall, council chamber, 511 Royal Ave.
  • Oct. 8 and 12: New Westminster Lawn Bowling Club, clubhouse, 710 Eighth St.

What do I need to take with me to vote?

Take your personalized Voter’s Card (which you should receive in the mail at the end of September) and ID with you to the polls.

The city uses the most recent provincial voters list, finalized on Aug. 23, 2022, to generate its list of eligible voters. If you are not on the voters list or did not receive a voter’s card, you can still register at any polling location on General Voting Day or Advance Voting days.

To register at the polling station, you need to bring two pieces of ID that show who you are and where you live, one of which must contain your signature.

Examples include a B.C. CareCard, B.C. Driver’s Licence, birth certificate, property tax notice, Canadian passport and more – for a full list, see the City of New Westminster voter’s guide.

If you only have one piece of identification, you can swear a declaration at the polling station.

What if accessibility is an issue?

Most polling stations in New Westminster are wheelchair-accessible.

You can check out the city’s map of polling stations, with accessibility details.

If you can’t enter the polling station, you can have someone ask the election staff on site to assist you to vote near the voting place — such as in your car.

What if I need help to vote?

If you need help to mark your ballot or require help with translation, ask for the presiding election official in charge at the polling station. You can choose to:

  • have the presiding election official help you mark your ballot. All election officials must take an oath to keep ballots secret.
  • bring someone to the polling station to help you. This person will have to take an oath of secrecy, given by the presiding election official.
  • request curbside voting at the polling station.

Can I vote by mail in New Westminster?

Yes, you can! For the first time in a local government election, eligible voters in New Westminster can now ask to vote by mail.

You can return the ballot by mail in the postage-paid envelope provided, or in person by dropping off at city hall (at the mailbox on the Queens Avenue side). If you’re voting from outside of Canada, you’ll need additional postage or a courier to return your ballot.

You will receive a confirmation number when you apply for a ballot so you can check to ensure it’s been received.

You can apply for a mail ballot kit online. Call 778-222-8602 if you need assistance.

Some dates to note if you want to use a mail-in ballot:

  • Deadline to apply for a ballot by mail: Thursday, Oct. 6, 4:30 p.m.
  • Deadline to post ballot to return to the election office (recommended): Tuesday, Oct. 11, noon
  • Deadline to apply to pick up a ballot: Wednesday, Oct. 12, noon
  • Deadline to pick up a ballot at election headquarters: Thursday, Oct. 13, 4:30 p.m.
  • Deadline to return complete ballot kit to election headquarters: Saturday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.

NOTE: Ballots received after 8 p.m. on Oct. 15 will not be counted.

Check out everything you need to know about voting by mail in New Westminster

Who is eligible to vote in the New Westminster local election?

If you live in New Westminster, you can vote if you are:

  • 18 years or older on voting day;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • a resident of B.C. for at least six months before the day you vote; and
  • not disqualified from voting by any statue or law.

Can I vote if I own property in New Westminster?

If you don’t live in New Westminster but you own property in the city, you may be eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector. Note that you must be a registered owner of property in New Westminster for at least 30 days before the day of registration, and that only one registered owner for each property is entitled to vote. (If a property has more than one registered owner, that one voter needs the written consent of the majority of owners.)

Check the city's website for full qualification details for non-resident property electors and an online registration form.

Got other questions about voting in New Westminster?

The City of New Westminster has published a comprehensive Voter’s Guide that should answer them.

If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in the New Westminster Record that you don’t see addressed here, you can send us an email with your suggestions.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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