St. Albertans had the opportunity to take to the polls early last week to avoid the crowds on election day — and almost all of the early birds in line on Wednesday afternoon were seniors.
“I don’t want to vote on voting day. I just think there will be too many people," said Bryan Devine, a retiree and the first person in line for the advance polls at St. Albert Community Hall on Oct. 6.
Advance polls for the municipal election took place Oct. 4-8 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the St. Albert Community Hall and the election office at Servus Place.
Devine said city council and the mayor’s office have some big issues to tackle.
The big issue Devine is voting on?
“I’ve excluded some councillors that were in favour of the solar panel site … just because they wanted to borrow [$33.75 million]. If it was such a good idea, someone else, larger companies would be doing it.
“It seems a lot of money. There are infrastructure and other things that need to be done as well,” he said.
James Hunter, who was third in line at the St. Albert Community Hall, also came to beat the election-day crowds.
“It’s handy because I live a short way away in one of the condo buildings here. I was out and about and thought I would come out and vote,” said Hunter
Hunter emphasized how important he thinks voting in this election is.
“I think we are going the wrong way — spending too much. I’m here to cast my ballot on some other folks who I think will be more responsible with my tax dollars,” Hunter said.
The particular issues Hunter is voting on are the city-run energy corporation that is being proposed that he thinks is madness, and the secrecy around the solar farm.
“Unacceptable. There’s got to be more transparency. I just think this group has been just a little too secretive,” he said.
Florence Collins said it was much easier to vote ahead of time instead of standing up in really long line-ups.
“It’s always important to vote, otherwise you can’t crab about anything if you didn’t vote — my theory,” Collins laughed.
There wasn’t any particular city issue that brought Collins to the St. Albert Community Hall on Wednesday afternoon, but she would like to see a few changes.
Collins does have strong opinions about one of the referendum questions.
“I’ve never been fond of daylight saving,” she said.
Carmen and her husband Robin Mungall went to the advance polls at St. Albert Community Hall on Wednesday because they are leaving on vacation to see their grandkids and won’t be around for election day.
Carmen said they have always voted, and it is their duty to vote, but there aren’t any particular issues she will be voting on.
“Just making sure that we have a good council that represents us,” Carmen said.
Alex Motuzas came out to the advance polls at St. Albert Community hall on Wednesday because it is an advance poll.
“Even in the federal election we always come to advance polls. Usually, the crowds aren’t as large and you get it over with,” he said.
Motuzas said it’s particularly important for him to vote in this election.
“If something goes wrong with city administration, then you have no one to blame but yourself,” he said.
There isn’t a particular issue Motuzas is voting on. He thinks there are a lot of issues.
“I’m thinking that it’s the whole body. There’s so many different things going on and I don’t care what election it is, it’s not just one, there’s so many different things that have to be taken care of.”
Linda Owens, who was also at the St. Albert Community Hall on Wednesday, said voting is very important to her.
“My dad always told me that women fought for women to get the vote and some people died so women could get the vote and so when it comes to voting I always hear him say, ‘Get out and vote,’” she said.
“It’s usually the people who don’t vote who do all the complaining.”
Advance polls will be available again Oct. 11 to Oct. 15, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Progress Hall, Arden Theatre, 5 St. Anne St., and Oct. 11 to Oct. 15, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Servus Place, 400 Campbell Road.