On September 21, 2020 a snap election was called by the NDP’s leader John Horgan, and for the Sunshine Coast, the SSAC became the Elections BC Headquarters. Led by Wendy Lee, Deputy District Electoral Officer and her team of 8 staff members, an action plan was put into place. As the SSAC was being prepared for the arrival of all of the supplies for the election, the SSAC was quickly transformed from a Community Center to the main operations center. Trucks arrived with boxes and boxes of supplies, and the staff members began the large task of setting up operations for all of the many duties of implementing the election “role out plan.” Within a week, over 188 people were hired to fill a variety of roles that included staffing for 10 voting places, including the 3 advance voting poles in Sechelt, Gibsons and Pender Harbour. Wendy credits Elections BC with their efforts to “pre-plan” for the impending snap election, and their valiant efforts made to execute the whole election based on very short notice. “Elections BC could not rent election office space ahead of time, but they went out to pre-prepare, and scout out rental accommodation in the event the snap election was called, which worked out to be a positive strategy.” In addition to all of the regular tasks that were fulfilled, Covid pandemic requirements were in place which required an entirely new set of plans with stringent guidelines, supplies, and information that needed to be implemented.

They ensured that all the supplies and rules adhered to the rules within the guidelines of WorkSafe BC and the BC Provincial Health Care. As with any election, the many challenges that were faced by staff and voters were numerous, but fortunately the voters were very patient and respectful of the protocol implemented through Covid. Additionally, at the Sechelt Center headquarters, there was unforeseeable construction throughout the entire election which had the many voters diverting their routes to get to the center.

On behalf of Elections BC, Wendy and her staff, she would like to thank the Sunshine Coast Community, the SSAC for their use of the facility and all of the citizens who came out to vote. It is with our sincere appreciation and our gratitude that we were able to successfully run this snap election and it is all thanks to you and countless number of workers that made the outcome so positive. The election counts were not finalized on October 24, because mail-in ballots are not counted until 13 days after the election. This year’s election saw an unprecedented number of mail in ballots because of Covid. The many thousands of mail-in ballots have been sent off to Victoria for the final count and the updated result information will be announced shortly after November 4 , 2020.
Elections BC have kindly contributed PPE supplies to the SSAC in appreciation for their use of the community center.
The SSAC is now operational as Elections BC finalizes the large task of packing up their supplies. The SSAC is reopened again and we thank our members for their patience, and look forward to seeing you back once again. our members back and look forward to resuming many popular activities once again.