There were lines across Victoria and Saanich as voters headed to the polls on Oct. 20, 2018.

There were lines across Victoria and Saanich as voters headed to the polls on Oct. 20, 2018.

A City of Victoria report on the 2018 municipal elections recommends changes to try to reduce wait times for voters.

City staff are asking that additional voting machines and voting locations be added for 2022.

The report titled “Lessons Learned” found that voting places in Victoria were busier in October 2018 than in past elections.

“Voter turnout was estimated at 43.5%, an increase from 39% in 2014. Five thousand and forty-two more voters cast ballots in 2018.”

The report finds that the boost in civic engagement also brought with it some logistical challenges.

“The main issues of concern from the public was the length of time spent in line at voting locations, 45 minutes was not uncommon.”

The busiest voting stations included Sir James Douglas Elementary School with 2391 votes cast and Oaklands Elementary School with 2369.

“Based on feedback from elections staff, and from the recognition of the significant number of voters attending the voting places, the solutions to assist in reducing wait times and better managing the higher numbers of voters in the election will be proposed” the report reads.

City staff are recommending that at least one voting machine and extra staffing be added to each voting location in 2022, they only had one machine per location in 2014 and 2018.

The report also recommends that more voting locations be added.

“Additional advance voting opportunity locations should be pursued for 2022 to respond to the population increase in the City and the pressure of higher voter turnout.”

The next general local elections will be held in B.C. on October 15th, 2022.

 

Ben O'Hara