Edmonton’s city hall was packed Monday morning with candidates and their supporters, as they filed paperwork to officially get their names on the 2017 municipal election ballot.
In Edmonton, all people vying to be the mayor, a city councillor or a school board trustee had to submit their paperwork between 9 a.m. and noon.
“It was a good day, the process went very smoothly,” returning officer Linda Sahli said. “Unofficially, 132 candidates filed their nomination papers.”
The previous record for the number of candidates was in 1986, with 120 in the race. They came close four years ago with 119 entered.
The final list was revealed Tuesday afternoon and was very close to the list released at the close of nomination day.
Barry Koperski removed his name for Ward 4 councillor. That means there are officially 131 candidates running for mayor, councillor and school trustees.
One of the 131 candidates was acclaimed. Michelle Draper ran unopposed for public school trustee in Ward B.
Nomination day is as much about official business as it is about showmanship. It’s the only day when an exception is made to regular campaigning protocols in city hall.
Candidates and their supporters could wear, carry and share campaign items and take photos. Nomination day is a chance for newcomers to get their names out there, do media interviews, and drum up interest for their campaign.
WATCH: Vinesh Pratap covered the last nomination day four years ago, when the race for mayor was wide open. He filed this report Sept. 23, 2013.
Nomination day is also when candidates find out if they are acclaimed because no one else ran against them.
“It’s an exciting day,” MacLean said. “It’s something where you get to see a lot of people interact with each other. They’re very excited to participate in the process, which is exactly what we’re looking for. We want to make sure we provide people with the the opportunity to do that. It’s very exciting. A lot of fun.”
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Unofficial campaigning has been happening for weeks and signs have been up in some neighbourhoods since mid-summer. Council will see at least three new faces this fall, as Ward 9 Coun. Bryan Anderson, Ward 5 Coun. Michael Oshry and Ward 4 Coun. Ed Gibbons are not seeking re-election.
Mayor Don Iveson won the 2013 election with more than 60 per cent of the vote. Iveson has launched his re-election campaign in hopes of representing Edmonton for the next four years.
It costs $500 to enter the mayor’s race, and $100 for council or trustee. Candidates have 24 hours to get their deposits back if they get cold feet. Those who come within 50 per cent of the winner’s total will also get refunded.
There were some issues with paperwork as candidates had incomplete forms. In some cases postal codes were missing, according to Iain MacLean Edmonton’s election director.
“There’s very specific rules about who can nominate and for what positions they can nominate,” MacLean said. “So specifically for a councillor, it has to be somebody in that ward has to nominate you. For mayor, it can be citywide.”
Up next will be the city sponsored forums Sahli said.
“They’ll begin Sept. 25. We are offering three mayoral forums between Sept. 25 and Oct. 11.”
Advance voting will also happen over 10 consecutive days, according to Sahli.
“It’ll start on Oct 4 and it will include the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, until Oct. 13.”
Six locations pairing off two wards each will be open for the advance poll. They’ll be operating from 1 p.m. To 7 p.m. on each of those days. See the list of advance polling stations below:
Wards 1 and 5
- Westend Seniors Activity Centre (meeting room) 9629 176 St.
Wards 2 and 3
- Evansdale Community League (small hall) 9111 150 Ave.
Wards 4 and 7
- Clareview Recreation Centre (multipurpose room #3, main floor) 3804 139 Ave.
Wards 6 and 8
- City Hall (Heritage Room, main floor) 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Wards 9 and 10
- Terwillegar Recreation Centre (multipurpose room #4, main floor) 2051 Leger Rd.
Wards 11 and 12
Mill Woods Senior and Multicultural Centre (Room 225, 2nd floor of EPL) 2610 Hewes Way
Unlike previous elections, there won’t be a city wide ballot at City Hall. It’ll be specifically for the two designated wards. At the three post-secondary schools, there will also be advanced voting at MacEwan University on Oct. 10, NAIT on Oct. 11, and at the U of A on Oct. 12, all starting at 11 a.m. and wrapping up at 4 p.m.
Election day is Monday, Oct. 16.
WATCH: The campaign season kicked into high gear in Edmonton at the beginning of this month. Vinesh Pratap filed this report on Sept. 5, 2017.
— With files from 630 CHED’s Scott Johnston and Global News’ Caley Ramsay