Earlier elections to come by 2014

The recommendations made by the Local Government Elections Taskforce won’t be implemented for this November’s municipal election but candidates, the electorate and supporters can expect some changes come 2014.

The recommendations made by the Local Government Elections Taskforce won’t be implemented for this November’s municipal election but candidates, the electorate and supporters can expect some changes come 2014.

The most obvious change the public will see is moving forward of the voting day by one month — from November to October.

That recommendation was supported by Williams Lake and seen as a way to electioneer before the inclement winter weather hits.

“When you’re out campaigning in November you’re potentially into snow and it’s late,” said Brian Carruthers, City chief administrative officer.

“And then also when election day is the third Saturday you can frequently have really bad weather so the thinking was the election should be earlier in the year when you’re not going to be subject to really bad weather and you’ll get better voter turn out.”

A taskforce recommendation to change the municipal election cycle from every three to four years was defeated.

However, other changes regarding fiscal and candidate accountability will be implemented and include: prohibiting advertising by unregistered third parties; establishing a separate act dealing with campaign finance rules in local elections; requiring campaign finance disclosure to be submitted within 90 days of voting day; requiring all election advertising to disclose who paid for the advertising; establishing a role for Elections B.C. in enforcing campaign finance rules in local elections; implementing expense limits for all campaign participants, electors, elector organizations and third-party advertisers; and banning anonymous contributions.

For more details on the task force recommendations visit www.localelectionstaskforce.gov.bc.ca/library/Task_Force_Report.pdf.

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