Close to 400 Skidegate band members who live off-reserve will have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming band council election, says electoral officer Fred Schiffner.
Off-reserve band members have been mailed a ballot package, which must be returned to Mr. Schiffner by the time the polls close on election day, Thursday Feb. 16.
On-reserve residents who can’t get out to the polling station can also request a mail-in ballot from the band council office, he said.
All Skidegate band members who are at least 18 years old and on the voters’ list may vote in the election.
The polling station at the Skidegate community hall will be open from 9 am until 8 pm on Thursday, Feb. 16.
There are three candidates running for chief councillor – Rodney Scheck, Wayne Wilson and Willard Wilson – and 19 running for the five councillor positions.
That might sound like a lot of candidates, but Mr. Schiffner says it’s average compared to other bands in BC.
Mr. Schiffner, who lives in Delta, said he once ran an election on Vancouver Island where 72 candidates were vying for a spot on the band council.
When there’s that many candidates, the results tend to be very close, with winners and losers sometimes separated by just a couple of votes – and that can produce appeals.
Mr. Schiffner said there were no appeals in the last Skidegate election.
“Two years ago when we did it, it was extremely clean,” he said. “The objective is to have the whole process as transparent as humanly possible.”
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