Saturday is the last day of advance voting in the 2019 Alberta spring election.
According to Elections Alberta, approximately 545,000 votes have been cast after four days of early voting.
The over half a million votes dwarfs the around 235,000 votes cast in early polls during the 2015 election.
But one political expert believes Albertans shouldn’t be looking too much into the high turnout for any predictions on the result on election day.
“I don’t think it tells us who is going to win or who is going to lose,” Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said on Friday. “I think it’s just making it easier for people to vote.”
In a new feature of this year’s advance polling, Alberta voters can cast ballots at any of the early voting stations in the province, not just the station in their own riding.
Voters will have to vote at the polling station in their riding on election day.
So far, Elections Alberta has reported that 174,000 “vote anywhere” ballots have been cast in the advance polls.
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But these “vote anywhere” ballots won’t be counted until the Wednesday afternoon following the election.
“ election night, we are going to be completely focused on getting all the polls to report because we’re going to be counting all the election day polls, the mobile polls, special ballot and all the advance polls in electoral district ballots,” Pamela Renwick with Elections Alberta said. “Our focus is going to be there.”
“They’re still going to be counted,” Bratt said. “I think what is more interesting is for people who will be watching on television and when those votes will be counted.”
Bratt said ridings have been won and lost due to advance polls in the past, but he doesn’t believe the “vote anywhere” ballots will sway the election one way or the other.
You need to be at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen and a resident of Alberta to vote.
Voters can sign a declaration to register to vote at the polling station if they haven’t registered already.
Albertans are urged to bring one piece of government-issued photo ID or two pieces of ID from the authorized list on the Elections Alberta website.
Most advance polls open at 9 a.m. and run until 8 p.m.
For more information on advance poll locations and times, Albertans can head to the Elections Alberta website.
Election day is April 16.
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