Signs of mayoral candidates congregate throughout Scenic Acres. (PHOTO: ERIC TANNER)

Fresh off Canada’s federal election, Calgarians will be called upon once more to cast their ballots in the city’s general election on Oct. 18. Similar to previous elections, many voters will take advantage of advance polls, which are running throughout the city from Oct. 4 to 10. 

Since many people are preparing to fill out their ballots this week, here are some frequently asked questions to help simplify your experience in advance polls this election.

Am I eligible to vote?

Eligibility and registration for the municipal elections differ between federal and provincial. Calgarians will be qualified to vote in the municipal election if they are over 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen and a city resident on election day.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can check on Election Calgary’s website.

When arriving at your station, you will be required to fill out or show your voter statement alongside one authorized piece of identification. Once these credentials are approved by an election worker, you will be handed your ballot to mark.

Voter assist machines will also be available to anyone with disabilities at all advance poll locations. 

Various signs advertise municipal campaigns prior to the Oct. 18 election. (PHOTO: ERIC TANNER)

Where will I be able to vote?

Much like the federal election, you must cast your vote within your designated geographical ward — unless you vote in advance at City Hall or a post-secondary institution.

If you are unsure of which ward you reside in or where you are required to go to cast your vote, you can enter your address on Elections Calgary’s Where Do I Vote? look-up tool. 

This tool will specify which ward you currently live in, as well as the location of voting centres which can accept your ballot.

In addition to voting at your appropriate voting location, City Hall will also be hosting advanced weekday polling stations. 

Operating on the same hours as weekday voting stations, ballots from every one of the city’s 14 wards are accepted. However, this polling station will be closed on the weekend, leaving you to cast an advance vote from your residential district on Saturday Oct. 9 and Sunday Oct. 10. 

Advance vote stations will also be operating out of various post-secondary institutions across the city. It is important to note these campus locations will be open for staggered dates and hours, accepting ballots from all wards within the city. If you intend to vote at these stations, be sure to inspect these key dates and times:

Advance vote times and locations at post-secondary institutions (CITY OF CALGARY)

The University of Calgary and Bow Valley College Advance Vote locations will operate on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.

Mount Royal University and SAIT Advance Vote locations will operate on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7.

Voters wishing to cast their ballot at these post-secondary locations can do so on their respective dates from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

When can I vote?

The times you are eligible to vote will fluctuate depending on the day you exercise your right. 

Starting Monday Oct. 4, through Friday Oct. 8, advance voting will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

On the weekend, voters will no longer be available to cast their ballot at a select few locations, including City Hall or post-secondary institutions. 

Additionally, the 29 remaining stations will operate throughout the weekend on different hours.

On Saturday Oct. 9, advance voting will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

On Sunday Oct. 10 advance voting will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If you happen to be waiting in line to vote after these times have concluded, do not leave. Individuals awaiting their chance will still have the opportunity to have their ballot counted, even after the voting deadline has passed. 

For voters unable to take advantage of advance polls, 24 election day stations will be open for 12 hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

To find your own ward’s voting stations or to learn more about the candidates running in this election, refer to Elections Calgary’s website at: https://www.calgary.ca/election.html 

Elections editor and reporter for the Calgary Journal.