Elections Smithers: How to vote during a pandemic

A photo of the exterior of Smithers town hall.
A file photo of Smithers town hall.
Pamela Haasen - CICK - SmithersBC | 29-09-2020
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Smithers Town Hall photo courtesy of smithers.ca

At the foot of the Hudson Bay Mountain in Northern BC is a little town called Smithers. This year that little mountain town is pressed to have a Municipal By-Election which was supposed to take place in March of this year. In 2019, Smithers' mayor, Taylor Bacharach was elected to represent the riding of Skeena—Bulkley Valley in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2019 Canadian federal election which meant another election would take place in order to vote in our new mayor. That was all very well intended until March 2020 when the world was hit with COVID-19.

Smithers operated with Gladys Atrill as the interim mayor until very recently. Atrill held her seat on town council until last month when she gave up her seat in order to run for mayor this Oct. 17.

Since then, one other person has announced his intent to run for mayor, business owner Joe Bramslaven as well as four candidates vying for the hot seat on council.

CICK reporter Dan Mesec spoke with the town of Smithers Chief Elections Officer Dianna Plouffe about the pressures to run an election with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

Listen to CICK News on Sept. 29 to hear the full interview with Dianna Plouffe, but for now, take a listen to how Smithers is running an election by mail and in person next month.