MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — The biggest hurdle during advanced voting for the federal election in the region seems to have been when a polling station briefly ran out of ballots.
“There was one point where they ran out of ballots at one location for about 10 minutes,” Leanne Nyirfa, regional media adviser for Elections Canada, told The Albertan.
“That was quickly solved with someone bringing some more ballots. But that was really the only major issue,” Nyirfa said on Sept. 15 during a phone interview.
Relaying information reported by the returning officer for the Red Deer-Mountain View riding, she said “the polls were very busy — turnout was great.”
Canadians who opted to avoid the busier official voting day on Monday, Sept. 20 had the opportunity to fulfill their civic duty by attending advanced polls that ran from Friday, Sept. 10 to Monday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on each day.
“Innisfail seemed to be the busiest of his advanced polls,” Nyirfa said. “For the most apart, the advanced polls ran smoothly — there were no major issues that came to his attention by way of either an incident report or a complaint. Overall, things seemed to go fairly well.”
An Elections Canada press release issued Tuesday, Sept. 14 provided the estimated number of electors who voted during the four days of advanced polling.
“According to the preliminary figures, some 5,780,000 electors voted at the advance polls in this general election. This is a 18.46 per cent increase from the 4,879,312 electors who voted in advance in the 2019 general election,” reads a portion of the statement, emphasizing the totals are estimates.
In Alberta, the estimated advance poll turnout throughout the province in 2019 was 606,227, which this election bumped up slightly to 627,640 for an increase of 3.47 per cent, according to figures posted online by Elections Canada.
In the Red Deer-Mountain View riding specifically, a total of 22,419 advanced ballots were cast in the 43rd federal election, compared with a negligible increase of 335 for a total of 22,754 this election.
“That’s a 1.48 per cent increase this election over last election. So, in your riding it wasn’t a huge difference,” Nyirfa said. “But certainly, overall across the country it absolutely was.”With the substantial increase of about one million advanced votes across Canada this election, results for some ridings might be delayed, Nyirfa said.
“The mail-in ballots won’t be counted until the day after the election,” she said. “We’ve had about 1.2 million people request voting kits. The majority of those are going to be counted the day after the election.”
In the Red Deer-Mountain View riding, she said the number of voting kits issued to electors was 2,315. There were an additional 759 kits issued to electors who were voting by mail or through an Elections Canada office from outside of the riding, but still within the country. And a further 104 voting kits were issued to voters outside of Canada, she said, adding a total of 3,178 voting kits were issued to electors in the riding.
Depending on how long it takes to verify and count all of those mail-in ballots throughout the country, it could potentially be a couple of days before the preliminary election results are known, she said.