While much of the focus is on Canada’s federal election right now, Calgary also has a municipal election coming up soon.
Municipal election day is Monday, October 18, and the City of Calgary has added more locations and more hours to vote in 2021, to make the process easier for citizens.
There will be 21 additional voting locations on Election Day, for a total of 187 stations this year, and longer voting hours: 8 am to 8 pm. Advance voting, taking place from October 4 to 10, features 11 additional locations and 1,897 more voting hours than the last municipal election, held in 2017.
“By increasing the number of voting stations close to home, we are aiming to make voting easier and hoping to reduce some of the wait times we experienced in 2017,” said Returning Officer Kate Martin in a media release.
“We encourage all eligible voters to participate in the democratic process. Look up your assigned voting stations, make a vote plan to decide when and where to vote and cast your ballot.”
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The City of Calgary says that voting stations have been carefully selected so that they are easy to access whether citizens are driving, walking, cycling, or taking transit. Locations include community centres, libraries, places of worship, recreation centres, and schools that are located within a 2.5 km radius of residential areas and have adequate free parking.
Two-thirds of advance vote stations are within one kilometre of a high-frequency transit stop (LRT/BRT/Max), and all stations are within 800 metres of regular transit service stops.
Here’s how you can cast your vote in Calgary this fall.
Election Day is Monday, October 18. There are 187 voting locations open on Election Day from 8 am to 8 pm. Calgarians must vote at their assigned location, which can be found on the voter information card mailed to each household or by using the “Where Do I Vote?” online look-up tool (available after September 21).
Calgarians have the opportunity to take part in the Advance Vote from October 4 to 10 at 37 designated stations. These stations will be open from 8 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday.
Calgarians must vote at their assigned location, which can be found on the voter information card mailed to each household or by using the “Where Do I Vote?” online look-up tool (available after September 21).
Voting is also open at City Hall from 8 am to 7 pm from October 4 to 8, and at select campuses on specific days from 9 am to 6 pm.
Special ballot (mail in) voting
Those who are unable to vote at their designated Advance Vote or Election Day voting station because of a disability or illness, an absence from the area, or if they are an election worker, candidate, campaign worker, or scrutineer, can request a special (mail-in) ballot by 12 pm on Election Day.
Mail-in ballot packages will be sent to voters after September 21. Learn more or request your special ballot here.
Each voting station is inspected for accessibility using Elections Canada’s accessibility standards. Voter assist machines are available at Advance Vote stations. Voters can mark a ballot using a braille keypad, touch-screen ballot, puff and sip, an audio recording with headset, or a paddle. Magnifying glasses are also available in voting stations upon request.
For voting help, you can bring an adult with you or ask an election worker to assist you. Curbside voting is also possible.
In light of the pandemic, Election Calgary’s public safety plan includes room capacity limits, physical distancing, separate entrances and exits, and time for election workers to clean surfaces and ensure their own safety. There is also an option for voters to cast their ballots outside instead of inside the voting station if they feel uncomfortable and cannot wear a mask indoors.