If a majority of British Columbians decide to change the voting system in the upcoming referendum, the public could have to go to the polls a second time to confirm it – after trying it through two elections.
Attorney General David Eby introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require what’s been called a confirming referendum on electoral reform, as part of the recommendations made in the summer on the subject, following the results of the referendum that begins Oct. 22,
Later this month, every voter in the province will receive a ballot asking whether elections should be decided through the current first-past-the-post system, or one of three proportional representation systems.
If a majority choose proportional representation, then the legislation would require a confirming referendum on whether to keep the new system.
“This confirming referendum would allow British Columbians, not politicians, to have the final say,” said Eby, calling it a “safety valve.”
Voters would at least get chance to try out the chosen system.
The legislation states that a confirming referendum would take place within 13 months after two provincial general elections that use proportional representation.
As general elections happen every four years, the earliest a confirming vote could happen is Nov. 20, 2026.
The results of the fall mail-in referendum are expected to be announced by mid-December.