First day of advance polls draws an estimated 140,000 Alberta voters
Advance polls opened in Alberta on Tuesday, drawing lineups at some stations in Calgary.
According to Elections Alberta,the unofficial advance poll count on Tuesday was 140,000 ballots. In the first day of advance voting in the 2015 provincial election approximately 58,000 ballots were cast.
Voters can now go to any advance polling station in the province until Saturday to cast their ballot ahead of the April 16 general election.
You must be 18 or older to vote and provide government-issued photo ID with your address listed, like a driver’s licence or Alberta identification card. Those who aren’t already registered to vote and don’t have a licence or ID card can bring two pieces of ID from this list.
Most polling stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day and a full list of times and locations can be found on the Elections Alberta website, or you can call 1-877-422-8683.
Voters must go to the polling station in their riding to vote on election day.
Advance voting opened on the same day a new poll from ThinkHQ suggests Jason Kenney’s UCP have a six-point lead over the Rachel Notley’s NDP, 46 per cent to 40 per cent, among decided voters province-wide, while the Alberta Party led by Stephen Mandel sits at eight per cent, the Liberals led by David Khan sit at two per cent and the Freedom Conservative Party led by Derek Fildebrandt sit at one per cent.
The online poll was done on April 5 and 6 using a sample of 1,139 Albertans age 18 and over and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points with 95 per cent accuracy.
The poll suggests the UCP have strong support in the province’s rural ridings, but Alberta’s two major cities are split, with the NDP leading by 20 points in Edmonton and the UCP leading by 16 points in Calgary.
And with 13 per cent of those polled saying they are still undecided, appealing to those voters will be crucial over the final week of the campaign, said ThinkHQ president Marc Henry.
“You’ve got about 13 per cent who are undecided today, and among those who have made a decision or are leaning one way or the other, there are between 30 and 50 per cent we would consider somewhat soft,” he said.
“So, they’re movable but something big is going to have to happen, and given the vitriol of this campaign, it’s tough to think of something that could shock them into changing their mind."
Asked about the poll on Tuesday, Notley said her focus is on “talking to Albertans.”
“We know that Albertans are concerned about the economy and the job, we actually think that we have a better plan for our economy, we have a better plan to create jobs,” she said.
“We have a better plan to be fiscally responsible and at the same time, we can protect our schools and our hospitals. They don’t have to be cast to the side in an effort to protect jobs and the economy and so I’m just going to keep talking to Albertans about that and they will make the choice next week and that’s the way it should work.”
At a media availability on Tuesday, Kenney said he will finish campaigning in Edmonton with a rally planned for Saturday night.
“When you look back and see how I’ve allocated my time as the leader, the largest share of my time will have been spent in Edmonton, that’s where most of our advertising dollars are focused,” he said.
“We're very confident about the support we have in Calgary, we don’t take any of it for granted, but we’ve always seen Edmonton as more competitive and I think that continues to be the case.”
Kenney also said on Tuesday that if elected, he will take Ottawa to court over Bill C-69, which could change how major energy projects are approved.