St. Albert residents will have three times as many chances to cast advance votes this election than they did in the last, says the city’s returning officer.
Sturgeon County, Morinville and St. Albert residents will be able to vote in advance polls starting next week.
While Sturgeon County and Morinville have two days of advance polling (Oct. 4 and 14), St. Albert will have five: Oct. 5, 7, 10, 12, and 14.
Those polls will be open three times longer than they were in the last election and be at three different locations, said city returning officer Chris Belke.
“It’s quite a bit more than we did in ’13,” he said, referring to the last municipal election.
Belke said the city got a record 1,338 people casting advance votes last time, and probably would have had more had people not been turned off by long lines at the voting station (which was in the third floor boardroom of St. Albert Place).
“We had line-ups right down the hall almost to the elevator,” he said.
“We set a new high (for turnout) for one day on the first day we opened and we beat it every day after that.”
As Belke expected an even bigger turnout this election, he and his crew have moved to roughly triple the size of this year’s advance poll.
“We’re definitely far better prepared this time,” he said.
Polls will now be open eight hours a day instead of three or four, Belke said – that’s from noon to 8 p.m. on the 5th, 10th and 12th, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 7th and 14th. Advance voting stations will be at the 7 Inglewood Dr. election office on all five days, as well as at Red Willow Place (7 Taché St.) on Oct. 5 and Servus Place on Oct. 14.
You’ll need to be 18 or older, a Canadian citizen, and to have lived in Alberta for the last six months and lived in the area where you want to vote on the day of the poll in order to vote in an advance poll, Belke said.
Voters will need to show proof of identity and residence at the polls. This is typically a Canadian government-issued photo ID, but there’s a long list of letters and forms that also work, Belke said.