Editorial: Pandemic election will be a challenge

We hope our citizens will step up. Voting is both our right and our duty.

Though there had been much speculation in the last couple of weeks about whether or not Premier John Horgan would call a provincial election, the announcement last week that he has indeed done so caught many by surprise.

Folks at Lake Cowichan will be going to the polls for two separate votes on Oct. 24, as they will also be voting for a new mayor from five candidates who have put their names forward to take over the office from Rod Peters, who has stepped down for family reasons. Make sure to see last week’s Gazette and our editions going forward for profiles on all of the candidates.

Everyone else in Cowichan will be focused solely on selecting their MLA.

In the coming weeks the Lake Cowichan Gazette will bring you profiles of the candidates for the Cowichan Valley riding. Because of the short timeline — it is now less than one month before election day — and unexpectedness of the election call, parties are scrambling to nominate candidates in the ridings. So far we can say for sure that newly minted Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau will be standing for re-election in the riding of Cowichan Valley. Running against her will be Rob Douglas for the NDP and Tanya Kaul for the Liberals.

We will also be letting you know of your voting options. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that some people may not be comfortable physically going to a polling place on election day, so we’ll make sure you know about mail-in ballot and advance polling days. You can request a mail-in ballot online here: https://eregister.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/ovr/welcome.aspx#, or by calling 1-800-661-8683. A caller to our office last week indicated that the phone number for people to get a mail-in ballot was already busy.

Getting people out to cast their vote is a challenge during the most straightforward of elections, and we have almost always been disappointed in the voter turnout, as people choose to abdicate their responsibility to contribute to our democracy. This time we will face a particular challenge, and we hope our citizens will step up. Voting is both our right and our duty.

Residents of Lake Cowichan, in particular, have even more reason to head out to the polls, with two important positions on the line to fill, on the same day.

This vote is important. The future of our COVID-19 response — our lives — depend on it.

B.C. is not the only province heading to the polls. New Brunswick just successfully held a provincial election, and a provincial election is set in Saskatchewan for Oct. 26. Let’s show everyone how it’s done.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Editorials

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