Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna council looks at changes to next municipal election

Council looking for possible changes to election sign bylaw and procedures

A Kelowna councillor has suggested some voters who cast ballots in the city’s election on Oct. 15 may not have been eligible to do so.

Ron Cannan made the comment as council received the final results and ballot account for Kelowna’s 2022 general election at its Nov 14. meeting.

“Some people in the regional district, the Ellison area, have a Kelowna address, they voted at Parkinson Rec Centre but found out afterwards they aren’t actually eligible.”

Deputy City Clerk Laura Bentley told council election officials are provided training regarding eligibility.

“The requirement is on the voter to understand where they’re eligible to vote and they make that declaration of their eligibility,” she said.

In her report to council, Bentley also noted staff responded to 73 requests for compliance issues regarding election signs. Several councillors pointed out they noticed several incidents of vandalism and non-conforming signs during the campaign.

“I do think we need more stringent measures on that,” said Coun. Loyal Wooldridge. “The vandalism and the constant repairs just takes candidates away from the valuable work of connecting with our residents.”

Disappointed with the low voter turnout, Councillor Gord Lovegrove asked if city staff would consider using voter registration cards, similar to provincial and federal campaigns, during the 2026 municipal elections.

Bentley said that in Kelowna, the application for registration is completed at the time of voting. She added a voter information card is mailed to residents.

“Providing people with information about their opportunities to vote,” she added.

Bentley’s report also showed that Kelowna was fourth highest in voter turnout compared to cities of similar size, behind Victoria, Saanich and Kamloops.

Council was unanimous in its praise of staff for conducting a well-run election. Staff will also review election procedures and the election sign bylaw and report back to council.

READ MORE: Peachland council to discuss limiting building heights along Beach Avenue

READ MORE: Kelowna city councillor returns to chair of regional district board


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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