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Decent turnout at the polls

Record advance vote in St. Albert, Morinville regions
Advance polls

St. Albert and Morinville voters marked plenty of ballots in Monday’s provincial election, with both regions beating the provincial average in terms of turnout.

Some 71 per cent of voters in the St. Albert riding voted in the 2023 Alberta provincial election, said returning officer Katherine Zalasky. Roughly 12,500 people voted in the advance poll, setting a new record for the riding. (Said record dates back only to 2019, which was when the current “vote anywhere” system was introduced.)

“We were the highest poll in the province,” Zalasky said, speaking of the advance poll turnout.

Morinville-St. Albert returning officer Julius Buski said about 30 per cent of voters in his area took part in the advance poll, surpassing the region’s 2019 record. Total turnout was about 68 per cent, compared to about 62 per cent province-wide.

Some election watchers characterized Monday’s election results as slow, with the final Morinville-St. Albert results coming in at about 11:30 p.m.

Buski said the final Morinville-St. Albert poll at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre was slow (it was the last one to report in) likely due to the large number of votes cast at that location — 1,645, the most at any one station in the riding. Other polls may have been slowed by the switch to having just one ballot box per site instead of many; any mistakes in counting would force officials to recount all of a site’s votes, instead of just those from one box.

Zalalsky said St. Albert poll workers got their results out as fast as they could, and encouraged anyone who thought the polls were slow to sign up and work in the next election.

Buski and Zalasky said their staff will spend the rest of this week checking rejected ballots and packing up their polling stations. Official results should be available June 8.

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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