There’s just one week left until Edmontonians head to the polls in the 2017 municipal election and candidates spent the Thanksgiving long weekend hard at work to earn residents’ votes.
“I feel really excited. I think there’s still a lot to do. I feel like for the past year-and-a-half it’s all kind of come to this final week,” said Keren Tang, a council candidate in south Edmonton’s Ward 11.
“We’re going to definitely be doing tons of door-knocking and a lot of phone calling… Really trying to hone in on that face-to-face contact and just remind people to get them out to vote.”
Tang is up against five other candidates in Ward 11, including incumbent Mike Nickel. While she knows it’ll be tough to unseat an incumbent, she’s up for the challenge.
“I think in a healthy democracy it’s good to have challenges. We get to push those already elected to do a better job,” she said. “I think it’s challenging, but I’m happy to be in this race.”
READ MORE: Candidates running for mayor and council in Edmonton election 2017
Over in central Edmonton’s Ward 8, council candidate Eli Schrader was hard at work, heading door-to-door to talk to as many voters as possible.
“I can’t believe it’s already down to the last week,” Schrader said. “This has been a two-and-a-half-year planning process for myself.”
READ MORE: Outgoing Edmonton councillor weighs in on experience, future of city
Schrader and four other candidates are up against incumbent Ben Henderson in Ward 8. At the doors, Schrader said he’s hearing from some people who are ready for a change.
“People are ready for new ideas, new people getting into council and having maybe a new kind of representation about how we want to go about developing our city.”
READ MORE: Poll suggests most voters think Iveson and Edmonton council should be re-elected
While there’s still a week left until election day, advance polls have already been open for nearly a week. For the first time, the advance polls in Edmonton were open to voters on all three days of the long weekend.
Jeannette Marababol also took advantage of the advance polls on Thanksgiving Day.
“This is my first time to vote as a Canadian citizen,” she said. “It’s always my belief that I should always practice my right as a citizen… I have to know my candidates so I just did it online, searched on what their platforms are.”
READ MORE: Former Edmonton city councillor predicts low voter turnout this election
Both Ashton and Marababol voted at the Mill Woods Senior and Multicultural Centre on Monday. While staff couldn’t say exactly how many people visited the station, they estimated about one person per minute came through the doors.
Edmonton Elections has not yet released information on how many people have voted in the advance polls so far. That information is expected to be released on Tuesday.
Watch below: On Oct. 5, 2017, Carole Anne Devaney moderated a panel discussion on the upcoming vote.
As of Sunday evening, 44,268 people in Calgary had voted in advance polls for that city’s election. That’s more than the total number of people who took advantage of advance polls in Calgary in the 2013 municipal election.
For more information on where, when and how to vote, click here.