Voters must present ID at the polls

When electors go to the polls on Oct. 21 to vote for municipal councils and the school board, everyone must have identification

  • Oct. 9, 2013 6:00 a.m.

When electors go to the polls on Oct. 21 to vote for municipal councils and the school board, everyone must have identification before receiving any ballots.

Under new provincial legislation, all electors in local government elections must present identification in order to vote.

Town of Stettler

For the Town of Stettler council vote, that could be rather simple.

“We hope people are informed that they need identification, so they are not frustrated for presenting acceptable identification — proof of ID and address,” said returning officer Greg Switenky.

“We encourage everyone to make sure they bring appropriate ID to the pools — one piece of ID and a driver’s licence is ideal.”

For those without a driver’s licence, a utility bill or cheque will be suitable, he said.

That shouldn’t be difficult, because voters in provincial and federal elections are also required to present one piece of identification, Switenky said.

With an advance poll today at the town office from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., polls on election day will be open at the Stettler Community Hall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We want everyone to vote,” said Switenky, who noted that voter turnout in the last election was 29.5 per cent. That was the case with a mayoralty race, which traditionally draw more voters.

Deputy clerks plan to locate polls at the seniors’ centre. A mobile poll is also available for voters bound to homes.

For more information, phone Switenky at 403-742-8305 or visit the website at www.stettler.net.

County of Stettler

With the County of Stettler holding elections in five of the seven wards, voters will require photo identification and proof of residency for the particular ward.

“Ideally, we want proof of where voters actually live, not where they own land,” said Shawna Benson, director of communications for the county.

“We want to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to vote.

“With 26 per cent turnout in the last election, we’re obviously aiming for higher turnout.”

Voters are requested to bring proof of land description, which could be a tax notice, utility bill or mortgage information, Benson said.

At each polling station, the county will have a land-location look-up service to help confirm required information.

Voters can vote in the advance polls this Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the county office in Stettler.

Voters can also request a mail-in ballot by calling, emailing or stopping by the office and asking for the special ballot. Voters can then mail in their ballot and still be counted.

“This is perfect for residents who are away on holidays, in the hospital or away working,” Benson said.

Clearview School Division

With the Clearview School Division set to hold elections in three wards, voters, will also be required to prove that that they’re eligible to vote in a particular ward, said Clearview returning officer Peter Neale.

“Our requirements request that people provide proof that establishes their identity and reasonable address — a residential address.”

Ideally, a driver’s licence is an adequate piece of identification, Neale said.

Full details of voting requirements are posted on the division website at www.clearview.ab.ca.

— Richard Froese

 

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