EDMONTON – On Monday, more than 61,000 eligible voters have the opportunity to choose the next city councillor for Ward 12.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, 3,913 people had cast their ballot in the byelection. With the 3,721 votes cast during the advance polls, the total number of votes cast as of 4 p.m. Monday was 7,634, or 12.5 per cent of those eligible.
The Ward 12 council seat was vacated by Amarjeet Sohi who was elected as a federal MP for Edmonton Mill Woods in October and now serves as infrastructure minister for the Liberals.
There are 32 candidates running to replace Sohi in the southeast Edmonton ward. That’s more than 10 times the candidates in the 2013 general election, when there were three names on the ballot.
Polls are open Monday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Officials expect the results to be available by 8:30 p.m. If there is a tie, the names of those involved will be put into a jar and the winner will be selected by a draw.
There are seven polling stations in the ward:
In order to cast a ballot, voters must bring with them a piece of identification that confirms their name and current address.
“If they don’t have a piece of ID the legislation says they cannot vote,” Laura Kennedy, the city’s returning officer, said. “They need that single piece of ID that confirms their name and current residential address before they can vote.”
A list of approved ID can be found on the city’s byelection website.
The city has put together a map that shows you where to vote based on your home address.
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If advance voting is any indication, the turn out for the Ward 12 byelection will be higher than a typical byelection.
When advance polls closed on Feb. 11, 3,721 residents had cast a ballot.
“It was a good turnout and so we are hoping for healthy participation on Election Day,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy anticipated another 18,000 people would cast a ballot on Monday.
In the 2013 election, voter turnout in the ward was 32 per cent.
Whoever fills the vacant seat will be on council for less than two years, as the next civic election is in October 2017.
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