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Province of British Columbia 1075 Pendergast Street, Victoria BC
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July 13, 2000

John Allen West
#8 Arthur's Road, RR#1
Hornby Island, British Columbia VOR IZO

Dear Mr. West:

Thank you for your letter of July 5, 2000 regarding the office of Chief Electoral Officer and your proposal for a "None-of-the-Above' (NOTA) option on the ballot.

I believe we agree that the purpose of voting at an election is to choose one or more individuals to represent the electorate on an elected body. Voting, therefore, should be seen to be a positive reflection of one's considerations.

From your letter I discern that you believe that the 'none of the above' option can be added to the ballot by a Regulation of the Chief Electoral Officer. As the ballot form is contained in a Schedule to the Election Act, it can be changed only by a legislated amendment to the Election Act. The ballot form cannot be changed by the Chief Electoral Officer as a Regulation pursuant to section 283 (b) of the Act. Additionally, a number of sections of the Act would have to be amended, and possibly new sections added, to incorporate the NOTA option on the ballot.

As you are aware, because of the status of the position of Chief Electoral Officer, I cannot speak for Executive Government. However, citing your May 19, 200011 conversation with the Premier on CKNW, and your June 15, 2000 letter from the Attorney General, it is apparent that the Government wishes to ensure British Columbia's democratic processes are responsive to the wishes of the electorate.

I will be meeting with the Election Advisory Committee in the next couple of months and I will raise the issue of the form of the ballot with the Committee. I will be pleased to inform you of their response.

Yours very truly,
Robert . Patterson
Chief Electoral Officer