Revelstoke’s byelection to replace former councillor Steven Cross will likely take place Jan. 30, one year after he resigned from the position.
CAO for the city, Dawn Low, presented preliminary plans for the election to council at their Oct. 27 meeting.
Due to the pandemic, changes will need to be made to election procedure, however staff do not recommend permanently amending the bylaw. A ministerial order is required for the city to temporarily implement those changes.
Low said everyone will have the option to vote by mail. The city will have access to the provincial voter list in order to make sign in easier, voting will not be available in special locations such as seniors homes (which is usually required according to the city’s bylaw) and voters will be able to make an oral declaration that they are eligible to vote rather than sign something.
As per usual, there will be two advance voting days on the two Wednesday’s prior to election day.
City council will see the ministerial order at an upcoming meeting, for approval, and appoint an election officer in November.
From there the city has 80 days to host the election.
If everything goes according to plan, campaigns would begin Jan. 2.
She estimated the cost to host the byelection will be between $25,000 and $40,000.
“We will try to reduce staff as much as possible,” she said.
According to the Local Government Act, a chief election officer must be appointed as soon as practical after a vacancy occurs.
However, in April, Low said that the province approved the delay of an election to the fall.
In September, the city further delayed the byelection as councillor Nicole Cherlet was running to be Columbia-River Revelstoke’s MLA. If she had won she would be stepping down and there would have been two vacant council seats.
Cross resigned on Jan. 21, 2020, after disagreeing with a proposal that would have seen council and the mayor receive substantial raises. Council later backtracked on the proposal after significant public backlash.