Vote-anywhere option draws record numbers to advance polls in Alberta election

A new rule allows people to vote outside of their home constituencies during advance polls

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney, left to right, Alberta Liberal Party leader David Khan, Alberta New Democrat Party leader and incumbent premier Rachel Notley and Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel greet each before the start of the 2019 Alberta Leaders Debate in Edmonton on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan)

Record numbers of Albertans are turning out to cast ballots at advance polls for Tuesday’s provincial election.

About 127,000 came out Thursday to bring a three-day total to 403,000, with advance polling continuing today and Saturday.

READ MORE: Notley promises honest, scandal-free government if re-elected in Alberta

The numbers have already shattered the previous record for advance voting set in 2015, when 235,000 people cast ballots ahead of the election.

About 44,000 of those who ventured out Thursday took advantage of a change in election rules that allows them to vote outside of their home constituencies during advance polls.

Figures show 127,000 people have taken advantage of that option so far.

On election day, people will still have to vote within their constituencies.

The vote-anywhere change was introduced in December 2017.

Elections Alberta has said the new rule could have an effect on how advance poll votes are handled, because ballots must be counted in Edmonton.

The office estimates that, in one instance, courier time could be up to two days from Fort McMurray and counting would not begin until the morning after the election.

Pamela Renwick, an office spokeswoman, told CTV News that an example of the potential delay would be having two candidates in an electoral division within 100 votes of each other, but there still being 1,000 ballots to be counted.

“For close races, definitely, we’re going to be waiting on the results before we’ll know who is the winner in that electoral division,” she said.

The Alberta election in May 2015 drew 57 per cent of all eligible voters — the highest turnout since the 1979 election when 58 per cent of the electorate participated and elected Peter Lougheed’s Progressive Conservatives to their third straight term in government.

The best turnout in the province’s history occurred in 1935 when 82 per cent of eligible voters came out and swept the newly founded Social Credit Party of Alberta into power, unseating the 14-year government of the United Farmers of Alberta.

The worst showing was in 2008 when 41 per cent cast ballots. It was held a little over a year after Ed Stelmach won a leadership race to replace Ralph Klein as PC leader and premier. The Tories won a decisive majority. (CTV Edmonton, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Community mourns the deaths of two Maskwacis toddlers

Siblings found drowned on family’s property

Gas prices in Sylvan Lake higher than surrounding area

The gas in town is being sold with a retail margin of about four to seven cents a litre

Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp hits 45 year milestone

The long-running hockey camp sees kids come from all over the world every year

Customs and Classics revved into Sylvan Lake

The 13th annual show had 163 cars parked on the Meadowlands Golf Club driving range July 13

New support line available for Alberta farmers

AgSafe Alberta hotline there to help navigate new farm rules and regulations

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Natural gas producers demand government action in open letter to Kenney

The letter warns that the viability of the natural gas sector is in jeopardy

Remains of missing Edmonton woman discovered outside of North Battleford: RCMP

The 25-year-old Edmonton woman was reported missing on May 12

Companies to appear before panel today in public inquiry into B.C. gas prices

A three-member panel by B.C. Utilities Commission will listen to up to four days of oral hearings

Interviews with family of highway shooting victim heard in Calgary court

Horst Stewin’s relatives were set to testify by video from Germany this morning, but a court translator said she was unable to proceed

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Most Read