Municipalities are required by law to hold advance polls, and Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will hold two each next week.
It's an opportunity for people who won't be in town on the Nov. 19 general election day to cast their ballots to decide who will be mayor, councillors, and school trustees.
It used to be that only people who had a reason for not getting to the polls on election day could vote in the advance poll but that changed in 2008, according to Laurie Darcus, chief election officer for the City of Pitt Meadows.
Voter turnout was only about 30 per cent in Maple Ridge and just over 22 per cent in Pitt Meadows in the last municipal election.
Having two advanced polls, instead of the one, required one based on the size of Pitt Meadows will hopefully get people out to vote, Darcus said.
The other option is for voters to vote by mail-in ballot if they're not available either on the advance poll dates or on election day.
Mail-in voting is available for people who have a physical disability, illness, or injury that keeps them from voting at a poll, or people who will be away during the advance polls and on general voting day. Applications for the mail-in ballot are available at the Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge websites.
The mail-in ballot must be returned by 8 p.m. on general voting day.
The packages will be mailed to applicants, however, the District of Maple Ridge won't mail the ballots after Nov. 10. They have to be picked up after that date. Pitt Meadows election officials also encourage voters to pick up their packages if they apply after Nov. 7 in case they don't arrive in the mail in time.
The mail-in package contains instructions, the ballot, and envelopes needed for the marked ballot and to ensure secrecy.
- Maple Ridge
When: Saturday, Nov. 58 a.m. to 8 p.m
Wednesday, Nov. 9
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Maple Ridge municipal hall, 11995 Haney Pl.
- Pitt Meadows
Wednesday, Nov. 98 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 108 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Pitt Meadows City hall: 12007 Harris Rd.
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