School Board by-election candidate Carin Bondar calls for increased access to voting


Dr. Carin Bondar, candidate for the Chilliwack School Board, voiced disappointment this week that there will be no option for voters wishing to cast their ballot by mail in the February 13, 2021 by-election. A mail-in ballot option is a safest way for residents of Chilliwack and the surrounding electoral districts to vote during the pandemic and has been demonstrated to be an effective tool to support voter engagement.

Following the closing of nominations last week, Dr. Bondar stated “this is such an important by-election and we should be doing everything we can to provide safe opportunities to cast a ballot during a pandemic.”

With rising rates of COVID-19 transmission, many people might choose to stay home to reduce their risk of transmission. By-elections typically have low voter turnout, so the decision to forego mail-in voting could further reduce civic engagement in Chilliwack. The City of Chilliwack has acknowledged the mail-in option was limited as a result of current by-laws and has stated these by-laws will be updated; it is unfortunate that change will not be to the benefit of voters on February 13th.

Bondar closed her remarks with words of encouragement to any would-be voter. “Explore early voting options and make a plan to vote. Every vote will count in this election and by planning ahead, and considering early voting options there are opportunities to vote, and to do so safely.”

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