Election day may be over for most Albertans, but the fate of eight ridings is still up in the air.
A total of 223,000 ballots will not be counted until this afternoon due to this year’s newly implemented “vote anywhere” ballots, which allowed Albertans to cast a ballot for their home riding from any advance voting station throughout the province.
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Because Elections Alberta could not legally open ballot boxes until the election drew to a close at 8 pm on April 16 (not even to sort votes into their proper ridings), the vote anywhere ballots had to wait until April 17 before being properly organized and counted.
The remaining ballots could spell either salvation or disaster for a few remaining candidates, as there are eight ridings that were too close to call given the number of vote anywhere ballots left to be counted.
In Calgary-Currie, UCP candidate Nicholas Milliken is ahead of the NDP’s Brian Malkinson by just 392 votes, while 3,212 ballots remain to be counted.
Calgary-Falconridge is an even tighter race, with UCP’s Devinder Toor sitting in the lead over NDP’s Parmeet Singh Boparai by just 163 votes. That riding has yet to count a total of 1,714 vote anywhere ballots.
Another YYC seat that the UCP is hoping to hold onto, Calgary-Varsity, is being held by 790 votes, with UCP’s Jason Copping ahead of NDP’s Anne McGrath. A full 4,467 votes will be counted beginning this afternoon.
Edmonton has two seats that are still in contention, with the UCP’s Kaycee Madu in the lead in Edmonton-South West over NDP’s John Archer by 758 votes. An additional 5,679 votes still need to be counted.
Edmonton-West Henday sees the first contentious seat that the NDP is in the lead for, with Jon Carson sitting in a delicate lead over UCP’s Nicole Williams by just 113 votes and 3,969 ballots left to factor in.
Banff-Kananaskis is looking to go to the UCP, unless the NDP’s Cameron Westhead can make up the 672 vote deficit somewhere in the 2,607 remaining votes to take the seat away from UCP’s Miranda Rosin.
Lethbridge-West is anther riding that could be pulled away from the NDP. Shannon Phillips is currently up on UCP candidate Karri Flatla by 377 votes, but there are still 1,751 left to be taken into account.
And finally, UCP candidate Jordan Walker will be hoping to hold onto Sherwood Park, but with 2,435 vote anywhere ballots to be counted and his rival, NDP’s Annie McKitrick, behind by 914, there’s a chance that the riding could go orange by the end of the day.
We’ll keep you updated on the remaining ridings as ballots come in. The vote anywhere count is expected to begin at 1 pm today.