October 5, 2017 7:47 pm

Mobile voting station hits Lethbridge

Lethbridge residents had their first chance to cast their ballot in a mobile voting station on Thursday. Matt Battochio reports.

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For the first time ever, Lethbridge residents have the chance to cast their ballot at a mobile voting station.

READ MORE: Lethbridge Election 2017: Who’s running for councillor 

On Thursday, city staff parked a transit bus in front of the Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre, giving people another opportunity to vote.

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“I think it’s really nice that they actually come and go where the people live,” voter Barbara Merkler said.

READ MORE: Lethbridge Election 2017: Who’s running for mayor? 

Three voting stations were set up inside the bus as a steady flow of residents moved through the vehicle.

City clerk Aleta Neufeld says the City of Lethbridge came up with the idea while staff were visiting Sudbury, Ont.

“I’m just really proud of this,” Neufeld said. “It’s probably one of the most exciting things that we’ve done differently for this election.”

Even if you weren’t voting Thursday, you may have seen the vote-mobile around Lethbridge. It’s been acting as a normal transit bus the past two months.

“I like to think that maybe they (residents) have just forgotten that there is an election,” Neufeld said. “But they see the bus, it’s parked visually outside where you can see that it is about voting.”

READ MORE: Can you name Lethbridge’s current mayor and council? 

After the election bus was instituted for the 2014 municipal election in Sudbury, that city saw a voter increase of nearly one percentage point, moving from 49.75 per cent in 2010 to 50.7 per cent in 2014.

The City of Lethbridge is hoping for a more substantial change in Lethbridge, as only a 29 per cent of eligible citizens decided to vote in the 2013 municipal election.

Residents can also cast their ballots at the mobile voting station on Oct. 12.

The transit bus will be parked at Park Place Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the west-side Safeway from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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