Elections Alberta is experimenting with new ways of casting a ballot. The agency is piloting new technology for the upcoming Calgary-Lougheed provincial byelection.
Pamela Renwick, spokesperson with Elections Alberta, showed off the new concepts to media on Friday, touting their benefits.
“We’re going to reduce lineups,” Renwick said.
“Electors can go to any table and results will be coming out quickly on election night and we have added a lot of accessibility options.”
Electronic poll books will log the voter’s information instantly and give them the freedom to vote at any station. Voting tabulators are also being tested.
“Rather than having hours of counting ballots, we will, within minutes, have results from the election,” Renwick said.
Elections Calgary is also considering these ideas. A review has been underway since the municipal election in October — which saw a list of problems.
The chief returning officer, Laura Kennedy, will present recommendations to city council in three weeks.
“I have experienced elections doing manual counting in the olden days and just recently here in Calgary,” Kennedy said. “I am familiar with tabulators and with the benefits for the end of the night processes. I’m definitely looking at that.”
A voter assist terminal is also being trialed this by-election for those with physical challenges. It would allow voters to cast a ballot independently.
Legislative changes to the Elections Act are needed before any changes become permanent.