Alberta Election: How to vote
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
Alberta will be having a provincial election this year that brings a lot of significance. In Alberta’s political history, the province has always elected majority governments and it always elects dynasties.
This election will see a hard-fought battle between Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party and Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party.
There are also many issues at stake this election. There are concerns over building pipelines, creating jobs and even the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. These, among others, are some of the factors that will be present in the leadership debates and election.
In 2015, the NDP took the PC party by storm after ending their 44-year reign of Alberta. To some, it was a shocking outcome, which saw a voter turnout of 57 per cent of eligible voters.
When will the election happen?
It really is hard to say when the election will be called. But, the election does have to be within a three-month period, which begins on March 1 and ends on May 31, 2019. This is why it is important now to register to vote, do some research and begin to prepare for the upcoming election.
By the time you’re reading this an election day may or may not be set, so it is important to keep informed about what’s happening in regards to the election.
What we do know is that once the election day is set, polling stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Why do we vote?
In Alberta, we vote representatives called Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). Most of these representatives belong to political parties. The parties who have the most elected MLAs will form the provincial government.
The role of an MLA is to make decisions regarding policy and pass laws for the province. It is important to vote because MLAs work to make decisions that affect all Albertans.
It is important to do research to find a political party and MLA in your area that shares common needs and interests to your own.
How do you vote?
According to Elections Alberta, “There are roughly 2,615,000 people in Alberta who are registered to vote in a provincial election.”
So, how can you vote in the upcoming provincial election?
To be eligible to vote, you must be a Canadian citizen who is at least 18 years of age. You must also be an ordinarily resident in Alberta.
Elections Alberta describes what an “ordinarily resident” means. Ordinarily residence refers to the notion that “a person can have only one place of ordinary residence to live and sleep.
“When the person is absent from it, the person intends to return; and when a person leaves Alberta with the intention of becoming ordinarily resident outside Alberta, the person’s ordinary residence in Alberta ceases.”
Voting in the election does require you to use proper identification. You can view what identification is acceptable on Election Alberta’s website. The most common use of identification is your Alberta-issued driver’s license.
You can even register to vote online at Elections Alberta to make the election day process much easier.