Election Cheat Sheet: What to know before casting your ballot today

Apr 16 2019, 4:01 pm

Election day is finally here.

But, if you haven’t been keeping up with the provincial politics over the past few months, we don’t blame you — life moves pretty fast, and there is a lot of info to take in whenever an election is called.

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That being said, you should still do your civic duty by getting out to the polls sometime today and casting your ballot, because this is your province, and this election will impact your future.

Don’t think you’re in the know enough to make an informed decision? Well, that’s why we’ve put together this quick cheat sheet to catch you up to speed and walk you through the voting process.

Main party leaders

New Democratic Party: Rachel Notley, Alberta premier since 2015, Alberta MLA since 2008, and a lawyer focused on labour law before that.

United Conservative Party: Jason Kenney, last leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, MP in Canada’s House of Commons from 1997 to 2016. Held various ministerial titles between 2008 and 2015.

Alberta Party: Stephen Mandel, Alberta cabinet minister from 2014 to 2015, Edmonton Mayor from 2004 to 2013, city councillor for three years prior.

Liberal Party: David Khan, national Indigenous – constitutional law lawyer, director of anti-poverty NGO Results Canada, Liberal Party leader since 2017.

Of course, there are more than four parties vying for your vote this election, but these are the groups fielding the most candidates and are therefore most likely to appear on your ballot.

Keep in mind that, unless you happen to live in one of the ridings that any of these four party leaders are candidates for, you’ll be seeing different names on your ballots. That’s okay! A vote for a candidate of the leader’s party is, in a way, also a vote for that leader to become Alberta’s next premier.

Here’s a brief look at each of these four parties’ platforms this election.

How to vote

Forget about advance voting or mail-in ballots — we’re past all that. This is the end game.

The only way you can vote now is to head over to your designated voting station and cast a ballot in person. You may have heard something about Alberta implementing a new Vote Anywhere system, but keep in mind that that was only for advance voting — meaning that you won’t be able to cast a ballot if you aren’t at your home station.

“Where’s that?” you might be asking. Here’s where.

Nice, you now know where to vote. Before you head out to participate in our democratic process, you’ll need to make sure that you have a piece of identification on you, along with proof of where you live.

Here are the rules, as stated by Elections Alberta:

To be eligible to vote you must be:

“Ordinary Residence” is described by Elections Alberta as:

  1. A person can have only one place of ordinary residence;
  2. A person’s ordinary residence is the place where the person lives and sleeps and to which, when the person is absent from it, the person intends to return; and,
  3. When a person leaves Alberta with the intention of becoming ordinarily resident outside Alberta, the person’s ordinary residence in Alberta ceases.

Before you vote you must sign a statement that you are eligible to vote. It is an offence to sign a false statement.

Don’t have a drivers’ license? No worries, because identification can be anything from a bank statement to a utility bill — just make sure that it has your name and your current address on it.

What the results map means

Okay, so you’ve cast your ballot, the polls have closed, and now you’re watching along as the results come in.

There are a total of 87 electoral divisions throughout the province, with 20 in Edmonton and 26 in Calgary alone.

What it all really comes down to, however, is if any one party can secure 44 of those 87 divisions, which would give that party a majority of seats in the legislative assembly.

Here’s a little more information on the numbers (and a handy map of electoral divisions throughout Alberta).

And no, you don’t have to bring your own pencil.

Now get out there and vote, people! Stations are currently open and will remain so until 8 pm tonight.

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