Edmonton Election 2017: ‘This is your city,’ officials urge people to vote

WATCH ABOVE: Ongoing Election Day coverage.

As of 10:30 p.m. Monday, Edmonton Elections said 185,283 ballots had been cast in the civic election, creating a 30 per cent voter turnout.

At 7:20 p.m. on Monday, 136,000 Edmontonians had cast their ballots in the civic election that day.

As of 4 p.m. 67,511 votes had been cast. The city said 176 of 189 voting stations were reporting turnouts at that time.

During the last municipal election in 2013, the city said 83,477 citizens voted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

WATCH LIVE: 2017 Edmonton Election results 

Voting stations are open until 8 p.m. and officials are urging citizens to make sure their voices are heard.

“This is your city and your vote,” Linda Sahli, returning officer with Edmonton Elections, said.

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Voter turnout at the start of Election Day was below the pace set at the same time during the last civic election.

By 11 a.m., 15,758 votes were cast, with 140 of 189 Election Day voting stations reporting voter turnout.

The highest turnout as of 11 a.m. on Monday was in Ward 8 with 2,118 votes and the lowest turnout was in Ward 12 with 821 votes.

READ MORE: Poll finds Edmontonians split on plans for affordable housing, LRT 

At the same time during the 2013 election, there were a total of 18,170 votes cast, with two-thirds of voting stations reporting turnout.

Edmonton’s total voter turnout was 34.5 per cent during the 2013 election.

This year, advance voting at ward-based stations, post-secondary schools and senior accommodation facilities took place between Oct. 4-13 and 26,198 ballots were cast, a 13 per cent increase from advance voter turnout in Edmonton’s 2013 election.

READ MORE: Advance voting numbers for Edmonton Election 2017 up from 2013  

Mayor Don Iveson was one of the Edmontonians who cast a vote on Monday morning. Iveson has been considered the front runner in the mayoral race throughout the campaign, but the candidate said he wasn’t taking anything for granted.

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“We’ll see what happens with the results. We assume nothing. I wrote two speeches for tonight, I’ll be happy to give either one of them based on the 10 years I’ve put in at city hall,” Iveson said.

“If I’m given the opportunity to serve for four more years, I have a clear sense of what I want to do, where I want to lead the city, working with a new city council.”

READ MORE: Candidates running for mayor and council

University of Alberta political science professor Jim Lightbody is predicting overall voter turnout will be as low as 28 per cent.

Lightbody doesn’t see much drama in the race.

“All incumbents will be returned probably. They have an 86 per cent chance in non-partisan ward-based elections. Incumbents have to be incredibly stupid to lose, and none of these people are,” he said.

“It’s what we call a system-maintaining election, an equilibrium election. Next time will be the fun one.”

With files from Emily Mertz, Global News and Eileen Bell, 630 CHED

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