When residents head to the polls for municipal elections this October, voters will have to show a proof of identification and their home address.
Along with stretching terms of office to four years from three, that was the major change as the County of Stettler finalized plans for the Oct. 21 election.
“All voters in municipal elections must bring identification and proof of civic address under new provincial regulations,” said chief administrative officer Yvette
Cassidy, who was appointed returning officer by county council at its March monthly meeting.
Even if the election worker knows that the voter resides in the county, identification is still compulsory, she said.
“Violations are penalized under the Elections Act,” said Shawna Benson, the county’s director of communications.
For electors who will be out of the county on election day, ballots can be cast at advance polls on Oct. 15 and Oct. 18 at the county office from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., or ballots can be mailed in.
“We’re trying to incorporate suggestions from the last election, such as special ballots.” Cassidy said.
For voters shut-in or in hospital, a returning officer can visit them to allow them to cast ballots.
“There will be lots of time to advertise and let people know about the changes and requirements,” Reeve Wayne Nixon said.
County officials plan to “extensively” inform residents about the changes in the coming months, with information to be available in the county’s display booth at the Stettler trade show from April 12 to April 14.
Polling stations on election day have been set for the county office in Stettler, Byemoor Community Hall, Big Valley Community Hall, Gadsby Community Hall, Erskine IOOF Hall and Donalda Community Hall.
Cassidy also said that she plans to meet with the candidates after the nomination day to inform them about the regulations and resources they can access to help raise their profile and encourage more voters.