Yup, you should already know that it is an election year. 2022 marks the end of the four-year term your Town Council, Regional District, and School Board officials were elected to back in October 2018. It has been an interesting, challenging, and rewarding term for all involved.
But what do you know about the timeline to Election Day?
Let me share with you some of the important dates Elections BC has in place for the 2022 General Local Elections.
Saturday, January 1, 2022 to Friday, September 16, 2022
This means we are already in the Election Period for the upcoming elections. How come no one has indicated they are seeking election or reelection to your local Town Council, Regional District or School Board? That’s a great question. I’ll try to answer that later. The important thing to remember about the Election Period is that it starts on January 1 of the election year and extends to 29 days before General Voting Day. The timeframe is specifically for candidates to retain paperwork on any expenses during the Election Period as all of those expenses must be recorded and reported.
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 to Friday, September 9, 2022
The Nomination Period is another important set of dates for candidates. This is when they will collect nomination papers from Town Hall (as an example) and seek local taxpayers to sign the paperwork to verify they are nominating that candidate. A total of ten nominations are required, which are carefully checked out to confirm whether they are eligible voters and residents of the community the candidate seeks to represent. I can tell you that I had 14 nominations when I filed my paperwork back in 2018. It was a good thing that I had more than I needed as one of my nominees was disqualified.
Monday, July 18, 2022 to Friday, September 16, 2022
This is when election advertising rules fully kick in for candidates. Those rules, which can be found on the Elections BC website, are not that hard to follow. They stay in force until General Voting Day. It is during this roughly two-month period when candidates build their campaign teams, create their advertising and marketing strategies, collect campaign contributions, set up election campaign bank accounts, and generally put plans in place to be executed during the official election campaign window of opportunity. You may not know who all candidates are at this point until nominations close.
Saturday, September 17, 2022 to Saturday, October 15, 2022
You will know who is running for what shortly before the Campaign Period. Expect media, social media, election signs, advertising of all forms (print, radio, electronic, etc.), pamphlets, door-to-door visits, all-candidate forums, candidate-sponsored meet-and-greets, and other public events to take place. All of these activities are as you would expect in any other election campaign and at any level of government. Fortunately, the Campaign Period is just a month long and that makes it relatively painless for the average voter. In some countries, election campaigns can run for years.
General Voting Day
Saturday, October 15, 2022
This is Election Day. There will be plenty of notice given during the Campaign Period indicating when and where your local polling place will be located. Plus, Advance Voting opportunities will be announced at that time as well. Generally speaking, advance polls are held about ten days before General Voting Day. To be sure, pay attention to the source you typically use for local information and you should find out from there all you need to know about Advance and General Voting Day polling places and times. By the way, candidates must follow certain rules related to advertising on voting day.
Campaign Financing Disclosure Statement Filing Deadline
Friday, January 13, 2023
Candidates have forms they must fill out outlining their election expenses. This must be done by both the candidates who get elected and those who don’t. There are penalties for not filing. There is also a late filing deadline (Monday, February 13, 2023). Candidates who wait to this point will automatically be charged a $500 late filing fee.
So, Who’s Running In The Local Election?
That’s a good question. I can tell you that I am seeking reelection. I have no idea of the intentions of other members of Town Council, Regional District, or School Board. I have heard rumblings within the community of a few people who may seek election, but none of it is technically official until the Nomination Forms are completed, submitted, and the Nomination Period ends. So...technically speaking, my announcement of seeking reelection is not official until my nomination paperwork is filed and nominations close...but...I intend to follow through with all of that. You would think that since the Election Period started on January 1, 2022 (according to Elections BC) that others would take advantage of the time leading up to General Voting Day to say something.
But that’s the way we “do” elections in Canada. We wait to see who else is going to act before we do…just in case we change our minds. Anyway, I wanted to share these important dates with you so you can have a better idea of when to expect the process to start moving along as we draw closer to Election Day.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.