November 6, 2018 10:48 pm
Updated: November 13, 2018 11:28 pm

More than 21,000 Calgarians cast Olympic plebiscite votes on 1st day of advance polling

WATCH: Poor weather didn’t stop more than 20,000 people from casting ballots on the first day of early voting in Calgary’s Olympic plebiscite. Blake Lough reports.


UPDATE: The City of Calgary said the total advance voting turnout over both days was 54,442 ballots cast.

Fourteen thousand Calgarians cast their ballots in the Olympic bid plebiscite on Tuesday — the first day of advance polls.

The City of Calgary confirmed 21,185 advance votes were cast, plus 7,738 mail-in ballots, bringing the Day 1 total to 28,923.

“We have had great voter turnout,” said Laura Kennedy, City of Calgary returning officer. “We’ve had people come in. We’ve heard about long lineups. We’ve sent teams to check it out, to make any sort of adjustments and we’ve been able to manage it. So it’s working well.”

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READ MORE: Everything you need to know to vote in Calgary’s Olympic plebiscite

Despite the snowfall and lineups stretching close to an hour, voters came out in droves. Whether they were for or against the Olympics, most people had the same response about the vote itself: they were happy to have their say.

Kelsey Nixon waited half an hour to cast her ballot in favour of the 2026 Winter Games. She wants her kids to experience it and the city’s economy to benefit.

“There’s been a lot of back and forth, and it was a difficult issue to try to understand sometimes because of all the parties involved in it but I think I did have enough information,” she said. “I kind of knew from the start that this is something that I think is important to our city.”

Memorial Park Library polling station. Fourteen thousand Calgarians cast their ballots in the Olympic bid plebiscite on Tuesday — the first day of advance polls.

Dani Lantela/Global News

Kendra Scurfield wants Calgary to be on the world stage through the Olympics. She waited 10 minutes at the polling station.

“It was a lot busier than I had expected,” she said. “It was nice to see it full and everyone taking it seriously.”

READ MORE: Two views on the Calgary 2026 debate make their pitch on Global News Morning Calgary

Luke Loran waited 20 minutes in line to vote against the Olympics, calling the timing bad. He was pleased with the attendance.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “Lots of people turning out and they’re voicing their opinions, and there are a lot of age groups too, so from young to old, which is good to see.”

WATCH: Pollster Janet Brown joins Global News to discuss what a large turnout for advance polls in Calgary’s Olympic plebiscite might mean for the bid.


On Wednesday — the second and last day of advance polls — 25,435 people turned out to voting stations and 84 mail-in ballots were collected. The City of Calgary said advance voting turnout over both days totalled 54,442 ballots.

There were 15 advance polling stations set up around the city, including at both of Calgary’s universities, according to the city’s site.

The plebiscite will be held on Nov. 13.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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