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How to run for office

Key dates

  1.  Sep 4 Nominations open
  2.  Sep 14 Nomination papers due
  3.  Sep 18 Nomination challenges
  4.  Sep 21 Deadline to withdraw

Election day: October 20, 2018

Vancouver voters will elect:


To run in the election, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older on general voting day
  • Be a Canadian citizen
  • Have lived in BC for at least 6 months immediately before the day nomination papers are filed
  • Not be disqualified by law from being nominated, elected, or holding office

Nomination forms

Candidate Information Package  (900 KB)

Elector Organization Information Package  (700 KB)

Complete the forms for your nomination package. If you are unable to access them, you can pick them up at City Hall or the Election Office.

Frequently asked questions

Campaign finance restrictions

New campaign finance restrictions are in effect, limiting donation amounts to campaigns and establishing criteria for donors.

Campaign finance rules are administered by Elections BC .

Randomized ballot order

Candidates in all races will be listed in random order on the ballot, not alphabetical.

The ballot order will be randomly selected on September 21, 2018.

Every ballot will have the same random order list of candidates.

You can only run for one office at the City. However, candidates for City positions may also run for school trustee, as the Vancouver School Board is a separate institution.

A separate nomination package is required for each race.

Where you can place signs

Election and political signs may be:

  • Placed on City property during an election only between the backs of sidewalks and an adjoining private property with permission of the property owner
  • Posted using the City’s poster cylinders located on designated lamp standards throughout the city

Election and political signs are not allowed on City property including, but not limited to:

  • The area between the sidewalk and the street
  • Boulevards or street centre medians (including on Boundary Road)
  • Poles
  • Structures such as utility or post boxes
  • Sidewalks and roadways

If you break the rules

Signs and posters will be impounded and stored at Engineering Services, 5th Floor, 507 W Broadway, at the expense of you or your party.

If a sign is removed, it can be recovered from this location from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. Under the Impounding Bylaw, you may be charged from $100 to $300 per sign.

Election and political signs are allowed on private property. A free-standing sign less than 3 m2 does not require a permit. 

Candidates can be endorsed by parties, also known as elector organizations. This endorsement can be included on the ballot.

The elector organization needs to submit the Elector Organization Information Package, which includes the:

  • Name of the candidates they would like to endorse
  • Written consent of the candidates they're endorsing

Rules for elector organizations and candidates

An elector organization must:

  • Have a membership of at least 50 electors
  • Understand the legal requirements that apply to their organization under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act 
  • Not endorse more candidates for a particular office than there are positions to be filled for that office 

Candidates may cannot be endorsed by more than one organization.

Completed nomination packages include:

  • Signatures from a minimum of 25 qualified electors who endorse you for office
  • A $100 deposit, which will be returned after campaign financing disclosure statements are filed with Elections BC
  • A solemn declaration swearing you are eligible to run, will take office if elected, and are aware of all financial requirements of Elections BC

Optional biography and photo

You can also submit an optional biography and photograph to be posted online and in the printed voter guide.

An online form for submitting your biography and photo will be available in late August.

You are disqualified by the Vancouver Charter from running for office if you are:

  • A judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, or Provincial Court
  • An employee of the City of Vancouver (unless you take a leave of absence and resign if elected)
  • A member of the board of the regional district in which the City of Vancouver is located


Local Elections Campaign Financing Act 

School Act 

Vancouver Charter 


City of Vancouver Election Bylaw 

The provincial Election Act does not apply to the City of Vancouver’s municipal election.

Still have questions?

View the Candidate 101 presentation  (500 KB)

Contact us about nominations, ballots, and voting.

View all other topics below to see which organization to contact.

BC School Trustees Association



Phone: 3-1-1


Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm

Election Office

1st Floor 
450 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R4

City Clerk's Office

3rd Floor, City Hall
453 W 12th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4

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