In just two days of the advance polls being open, a record number of Albertans have gone to cast their ballots.
Approximately 276,000 Albertans have voted in the first two polling days, 140,000 on Tuesday, and 136,000 on Wednesday. That’s more votes being cast in the first two days than in the four days of advance polls in 2015; 235,000 Albertans in total voted at advance polls during that election.
Elections Alberta said there are around 2.7 million registered voters in Alberta, meaning approximately 10 per cent of eligible voters have already cast a ballot.
Deputy chief electoral officer Drew Westwater said it’s a trend they expect to continue through the rest of the advance polls.
“We anticipate going into this election, that 30 per cent of the people who vote will probably vote at the advance polls due to the increased opportunity,” Westwater explained.
Residents are able to vote for the candidates in their riding at any advance polling station in Alberta. The new initiative was put in place in the hopes of encouraging more people to vote. However, those who cast ballots at locations outside of their riding won’t be counted until the day after the election.
Elections Alberta said it could be two to three days after the election that those advance ballots are counted and in closely contested ridings it could change the outcome of the election.
Voter turnout in 2015 was the highest it has been in 22 years with 57.01 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot. The last time it was higher was in 1993 when turnout was 60.2 per cent. Elections Alberta is hoping to see a better turnout this year.
According to Elections Alberta, roughly 700,000 Albertans used the advanced polling stations to cast their vote,shattering the 2015 numbers of 235,000.
223,000 "vote anywhere" ballots were casted during the advanced voting.
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