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Advance polls open in London Thursday

Advance polls open in London Thursday - image
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Thursday marks the first opportunity for Londoners to cast their ballot early for the municipal election.

Residents living anywhere in the city can take part in advance polls being held at Western University and Fanshawe College.

Though a voter notification card will make the process faster, all residents are asked to bring is a form of ID with their name and address on it.

Residents without a piece of ID are still encouraged to come to the advance poll, where they can fill out some forms and go through a process to get added to the voters’ list.

READ MORE: ‘Ranked ballot roadshow’ to teach Londoners about city’s new voting system

Aside from the convenience of getting voting out of the way, city clerk Cathy Saunders said voting in advance gives residents plenty of time to get informed about ranked ballots.

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“We have information there and we have poll supervisors and workers that have been trained on the ranked ballots, so they will be able to assist the voter and explain the ranked choice to them,” she said. “The voting does tend to be spread out a bit more than on voting day, so there would be more opportunity to speak to staff. We, of course, will be there doing everything we can on voting day, but voting day does tend to be busier, that’s for sure.”

Voters now have the option to rank a first, second, and third choice for mayor and ward councillor when casting their ballot, but choosing not to rank their choices does not spoil their ballot.

READ MORE: Percentage of female candidates in London’s municipal election dips slightly

Voters should note that the election of school board trustees will not be a ranked-choice vote.

Advance polling locations will be available to any eligible voters from 10 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday’s advance polls are being held in the basement of Western University’s UCC building across from the bookstore, and just outside the Oasis lounge inside Fanshawe College.

The dates and locations of additional advance polls are:

Saturday, October 6
London City Hall
Malls: Northland, White Oaks, Westmount
Libraries: East London, Masonville, Sherwood Forest, Cherryhill

Tuesday, October 9
London City Hall

Wednesday, October 10
London City Hall

Thursday, October 11
London City Hall
Malls: Northland, White Oaks, Westmount
Libraries: East London, Masonville, Sherwood Forest, Cherryhill
London Health Sciences Centre: Victoria and University Hospital

Friday, October 12
London City Hall

Saturday, October 13
London City Hall
Malls: Northland, White Oaks, Westmount
Libraries: East London, Masonville, Sherwood Forest, Cherryhill

More information can be found on the city’s website.

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In the last election in 2014, 16,184 voters cast their ballot in advance polls. That accounted for 14.46 per cent of the total votes cast in the election.

Municipal election day is Oct. 22.

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