Students and staff at the University of Alberta will be able to vote at the Students’ Union Building (SUB) as part of the provincial general election’s advance polls.
From April 9 to 13, people will be able to cast their ballot for the candidate of their choice within SUB in the lower level inside the Cascade Room. Elections Alberta, in partnership with the Students’ Union’s Get Out The Vote campaign, will provide the poll each day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For the first time ever, the polling station in SUB, and all other advance polls across the province will have the capability to handle voters from any electoral division. In the past, voters had to cast their ballot at either an advance poll or polling station within their electoral district.
Elections Alberta will be using new technology which allows for any ballot from any electoral division in the province to be printed at any advance polling station. However, this will only be in place for advance polls. On election day, April 16, eligible voters will have to vote at their designated polling place.
Voters in the provincial election must be 18 or older, live in Alberta, and have Canadian citizenship.
Get Out The Vote campaign manager Stephen Raitz said he is “thrilled” to have advance polls and that anyone can vote for their home riding on campus.
“No matter where you are from in the province, you will be able to vote in SUB,” Raitz said. “Whether you are living in residence and are from Lethbridge or just live on the other side of Edmonton, you can vote on campus which is really freaking amazing.”
He added the campaign is trying to inform as many students as possible to vote as part of the advance polls so they don’t have to go to their home riding on election day.
“I really hope people take advantage of this opportunity because that way they do not have to go back home to Athabasca or elsewhere,” Raitz said. “We are trying to push and share the information as much as possible so that everyone takes advantage of it.
The Get Out The Vote campaign has also been helping students register to vote for the election and gather pledges of students who plan to vote. According to Raitz, they have successfully gathered over 4,000 pledges from students that they will vote.
“We are going to continue to be really bright and visible [as a campaign] so that as many students take notice as possible so we can have our unique voices heard in the election,” Raitz said.
On election day, there will be a polling station in SUB for residents living in the Edmonton-Riverview riding. People not living in this area will have to go to their own respective district to vote.
Raitz said he hopes that since the first two days of advance polls take place during classes and not exam period, students will be inclined to vote and take advantage of the vote anywhere technology.
“Voting is really important,” Raitz said. “Since election day is during exams, we hope people take advantage of the advance polls here on campus since they will be easy and convenient for people. The new vote anywhere process is really making it simpler for students to vote than ever.”