A Guide to Election Day 2018

It’s easy to agree that voting is important. (For a refresher, read this). But that’s not to say it can’t also be a bit overwhelming, especially as a first time voter.

To help make things as simple and smooth as possible for you, we’ve put together a few links, resources and FAQs to guide you through the voting process. Most of the information in this guide is related to the Vancouver election, but we’ve also included a few links to other cities as well.

Remember: election day is October 20th!

First things first: why should you vote?

On October 20th, most of the province will head to the polls to elect new city leaders. In Vancouver we’re voting to elect 1 mayor, 10 councillors, 7 Park Board commissioners and 9 School Board trustees.

But what does that mean? How will a new mayor impact our day-to-day life? Does our one vote really matter?

We believe the answer is yes. Here’s why…

Next step: Find your election

Most tools and resources in this guide are related to the Vancouver election. For information about your local election, visit the pages of these nearby municipalities: BurnabySurreyRichmondNorth VancouverNew Westminster.


Am I eligible to vote?
To vote in a City of Vancouver election, you must be 18 years of age or older on election day, a Canadian citizen, plus a few other criteria. See the full list.

Which city do I vote in?
You vote in the municipality where you reside. For example, SFU students who live in Burnaby and are eligible to vote, would vote in the Burnaby election.

I’m a student. Can I vote?
Yes, provided you meet the regular eligibility criteria – including having lived in BC for at least 6 months immediately before registering to vote.

Do I need to register ahead of time?
Firstly, check to see if you’re already on the voter’s list. (You may have also received your voter card in the mail.) If not, the easiest thing to do is arrive at your polling station with the required identification and the awesome volunteers will help you register and/or get checked-in. Just be sure to leave extra time!

Where can I cast my ballot?
Vancouver has a “vote anywhere” system, meaning you can walk into any polling station across the city and cast your ballot. Use this interactive map to find the best location for you!

The Candidates

Who are they? See the full list of Vancouver candidates for Mayor, Council, Park Board and School Board here. Want to learn about their platforms? Look for articles that provide a quick summary of each candidate’s platform, like this one from the Vancouver Sun. There are also many events and debates taking place where you can hear from the candidates themselves.

Credit: City of Vancouver

Plan Your Vote

To help you navigate the 2018 election, the City of Vancouver has created the Plan Your Vote tool. It will help prepare you for the randomized ballot, pick which polling station to go to, and provide you with a printable one-pager that you can take with you when you vote.

Upcoming Events & Debates

Here are just a few of the events and debates happening across the Lower Mainland:

  • Last Candidate Standing: 2018 Vancouver Election Debate (Oct 3)
  • New Westminster: All Candidates Meeting (Oct 3)
  • City Votes 2018: Surrey (Oct 9)
  • All Vancouver Candidates Meeting on Arts & Culture (Oct 15)
  • City of North Vancouver Mayor’s Debate (Oct 15)
  • Burnaby Votes: All Candidates Meet & Greet (Oct 16)
  • Housing Policy in the Vancouver Civic Election (Re-watch the live stream)

Need a reminder?

Sign up for a text and/or email reminder for the voting day of your choice!

Advance Voting

Skip the lines. Advance voting is taking place in 12 locations across Vancouver from October 10-17, 2018. Learn more here.