by Colin Smith
Ensuring as many Morinville residents as possible can vote in this fall’s Municipal General Election is the aim of measures adopted by Town Council at its May 25 meeting.
The measures were brought before Council by Melodie Steele, appointed last November as Returning Officer to oversee the election.
Election Day is set as October 18, when voting will take place for Council, School Board, and potentially for Alberta Senate choices and on Provincial referendum questions.
Council has approved advance voting opportunities for eligible voters unable to visit a voting station that day.
Advance voting will take place at Morinville Community Cultural Centre, 9502-100 Avenue, at these times: Saturday, October 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, October 13, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, October 14, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, October 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
As in past elections, electors who are unable to go to a voting station or advance voting station because of physical incapacity will be able to vote in their own homes.
Two deputies will visit the residences of incapacitated electors on Saturday, October 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 pm., to obtain their votes.
The Returning Officer will take into account COVID-19 Pandemic public health restrictions in place at that time which could affect this voting opportunity.
Voting by special ballot is also available for electors who are unable to vote at a voting station or advance vote because of physical incapacity, absence from the local jurisdiction, or being a returning officer, deputy returning officer, constable, candidate, official agent or scrutineer who may be located on election day at a voting station other than that for the elector’s place of residence.
Residents will be required to complete a form requesting their name be added to the special ballot register. The ballots will be mailed or held for pick up.
In her written presentation to Council, Steele noted that special ballots were made available in 2010, 2013 and 2017 elections with 35 applications received over the three events.
“It was greatly appreciated by those residents who utilized the special ballots process, to have the opportunity to cast their vote and be heard,” she stated.
“Our latest census figures indicate Morinville does retain a large number of residents who work out of town on a regular basis. With greater advertising and a consistent process for the special ballots, an increase in the number of requests for 2021 is expected.”
Institutional voting stations for the election will be located on October 18 at: Heritage Lodge, 10015-101 Avenue, and Alberta Health Services Aspen House, 9706-100 Avenue.
Voting hours will be confirmed by the Returning Officer following consultation with the institutional administrations.
For further information go to https://www.morinville.ca/en/town-hall/election.aspx or telephone 780-939-4361.