Albertans have many options when it comes to how they cast their vote.
Voters may choose between advance polls, special ballot and voting on election day.
The Alberta election falls on Monday, May 29.
All Albertans 18 or older who hold Canadian citizenship are allowed to vote.
All voters must have identification that provides a full name and physical address. A voter must provide either one piece of government-issued photo ID with their full name, current address and photo or two pieces of ID with their full name and one showing their current home address. For accepted forms of identification, click here. If a voter doesn’t have an accepted form of identification they can prove their identity and address by getting another voter to vouch for them or by giving an attestation form signed by an authorized signatory.
A voter can choose to vote on the official election day – Monday, May 29.
Voters who registered should have received a voter’s card in the mail or by email that provides their assigned voting location. If someone didn’t receive their voting card, they can find their assigned location on the Elections Alberta website.
Voters must vote at their assigned voting location on this day – they cannot use another location.
All voting locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Election day voting locations are often found in schools, churches, community halls and other public buildings that are selected due to their proximity to people’s homes.
Advance polls opened Tuesday, May 23 and continued through until Saturday, May 27.
Voters were allowed to go to any open advance polling station. Advance polling stations are often found in malls, community centres, libraries, work camps, universities or other public buildings this provides convenience for voters.
Students, people working or travelling and are away from home can take advantage of the advance poll, vote anywhere service.
Some treatment centres, hospitals, supportive living, long-term care facilities, shelters and community support centres established mobile voting locations. These are for residents, inpatients or people receiving support and services from the location where the mobile voting station is set up.
In order for a facility to get a mobile voting station there must be at least 10 voters that reside or receive treatment there. Only residents and people receiving care can vote at the mobile voting location.
Identification is not required for mobile voting stations – the facility representative must confirm that the voter is a resident there or that they are receiving treatment at the facility. Staff and family members are not allowed to vote at the mobile voting station.
Returning office/special ballot
Albertans can vote by special ballot if they are unable to vote on one of the advance voting days or election day.
A person must declare their reason for a special ballot. Valid reasons are:
- Physically disabled
- Away from their electoral division – a student away for school, a person travelling or working
- An inmate
- An election officer, candidate, official agent or scrutineer
- Living in a remote area*
- Displaced by emergency or disaster such as fire or flood.
Voters using a special ballot must sign a declaration to declare their reason for voting by special ballot.
Special ballots are available at Elections Alberta head office in Edmonton and in the local returning office and must be picked up in person. Applicants can complete the package at the location or they can fill it out and drop it off at the same location or they can return it by mail. Information on how to send the special ballot by mail can be found here.
Special ballot package requests can be made until voting closes on election day, May 29. To request a special ballot, go to the Elections Alberta website.
Some voters who applied for a special ballot package before May 22 at 6 p.m. have received the package in the mail.
*Living in a remote area is defined in the Election Act as a voting area where no voting places may be established and no election officers may be appointed for it.
Albertans who have been evacuated from their homes are allowed to vote by special ballot. This is an option for those who had a mailing address they could still receive mail at or they can get their special ballot package at a local returning office. Special ballots can be dropped off at a returning office or by mail.
For evacuees who are still unable to return home by May 29, they will receive help from Elections Canada to find another polling location for them based on their location that day.
Impacted voting locations include:
- Election day:
- Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation: Voting moved from Sturgeon Lake Community Hall to Valleyview Memorial Hall. Evacuees who arrived in Edmonton may also vote at Elections Alberta.
- Drayton Valley and Poplar Ridge: Voting will take place at the Clean Energy Technology Centre instead of the Omniplex-Mackenzie Conference Centre.
- Chipewyan Lake: Voting has been moved from Chip Lake Community Hall to Wabasca Community Hall. Evacuees currently in Slave Lake may vote at the Northern Lakes College, Slave Lake Campus.
- East Prairie Settlement: Voting has been moved to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch number 37 from the Community Hall East Prairie. Evacuees in Slave Lake are allowed to vote at the Northern Lakes College, Slave Lake Campus.
- Peavine Métis Settlement: Voting will take place at Kapawe’No Community Hall instead of the Peavine Recreation Centre.
- Smith: Voting was set to take place at Smith Community Complex but it has been moved to Northern Lakes College – Slave Lake Campus.
- Dene Tha’ First Nation: Voting assigned to Four Chiefs Complex and Dene Tha’ Community Arena will now take place at Florence MacDougall Community High School in High Level. Residents of Dene Tha’ First Nation can vote at Meander River Complex, Fort Vermillion Legion Hall.
- Little Red River Cree Nation: Voting locations Jean-Batiste Sewepagaham School Fox Lake, Sister Gloria School and John D’Or Prairie School have been moved to Florence MacDougall Community School in High Level. Voters from Little Red River Cree Nation can vote at the Fort Vermilion Legion Hall, La Crete Arena or Old Northern Lakes Campus, Paddle Prairie.
- Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement: Voters who were assigned to vote at Paddle Prairie Commui-plex will now vote at the Old Northern Lakes Campus, Paddle Prairie.
- Mobile voting at evacuation centres
- Lakeview Sports Centre – Thursday May 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Wabasca-Demarais
- Elks Rodeo – Wednesday, May 24, 11 a.m. to 6p.m. – High Prairie
- High Level Town Office, Council Chambers – Friday May 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – High Level
- Old Health Centre – Thursday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – John D’Or Prairie
- Eagles Nest Ministry Centre – Friday, May 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. – MacKenzie County
- Incident Command Centre, Yellowhead County Fire Department – Wednesday and Thursday, May 24 and 25, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Edson
Elections Alberta says voting locations are selected with accessibility in mind. They added they work to ensure that voters have barrier-free access to as many locations as possible.
Barrier-free means that:
- One accessible stall is available within close proximity to the voting locations entrance.
- The parking lot must be level and firm.
- All pathways, ramps and corridors must be at least 36 inches wide.
- Doorways must have easy open devices or they location must have a staff member available to open doors.
- The entryway must have a ramp or level pathway
- Ramps provided must not have a steep incline. The ramps must have a non-slip surface and provide a smooth transition to the pathway.
- All pathways, hallways and the room where the voting takes place must not have any protruding objects.
- The voting room must be accessible by either an exterior door, via level access, an elevator or ramp.
Elections Alberta also has accessibility accommodations for people with visual impairments. Elections Alberta will provide a large-print ballot poster, use of a magnifying sheet or the use of a voting template.
Voters are allowed to vote independently, with or without the use of assistive tools, or to get help from a family member, a friend or an election officer. Any person who is to help another voter must swear an oath to preserve the voters right to anonymity. The oath says that the person will mark the ballot as the voter indicated and maintain the secrecy of their vote.
Voters are encouraged to bring their own assistive tools as long as the tools do not disrupt other voters or the privacy of the vote.
Some voting locations also have voter assist terminals.
Voter assist terminals are electronic ballot markers designed for use by voters needing assistance to read or mark their ballot.
These terminals offer an adjustable LCD touchscreen with high contrast and screen privacy modes, rubber-textured directional hardware arrows and buttons with braille, audio jack with headphones for audio ballot and instructions and an ADA dual switch access port compatible with voters’ assistive devices such as sip-and-puff.
A rocker paddle will also be available at these locations. The rocker paddle has a “yes/select” and a “no/XX” input paddles.
Not every location will have one of these but to find a list of voting locations that have voter assist terminals, voters can download a list here.
Elections Alberta also offers information on the voting process, eligibility to vote, how to mark a ballot and voting options in 27 languages.
For any other language, Elections Alberta says they rely on the community whether that be hiring someone who can speak that language or asking the voters friends or family.
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