Planning to vote in Alberta's provincial election on Monday? Here's everything you need to know to make the process smooth and simple.
Robyn Bell, spokesperson for Elections Alberta, answered questions about advance polling, political T-shirts and the documents you need to bring.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Question: Where do you find your polling station?
Bell: If you're voting in advance polls, you can vote at any voting station in the province. There's more than 300 of them.
If you visit our website elections.ab.ca, there is a tool called the Where to Vote tool. Enter your address and it'll show you any of the locations near you.
If you're voting on election day on May 29, you will have an assigned voting location. The Vote Anywhere service does not continue into election day, so that voting location would have been mailed to electors on their Where to Vote card.
If they don't have that anymore or if they didn't receive one, then again visit that Where to Vote tool. Type in your address and it will show you your assigned voting location for election day.
Q: What hours are polling stations open?
Bell: On election day, polling stations are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you're voting in advance polls, just double check the polling station that you plan to visit, because some of the hours do vary and not all of them are open all of the five days of advance voting.
Q: What kind of ID do you need to vote?
Bell: In order to vote, you do need to prove your name and physical address. If you have a driver's licence or an Alberta ID card, you can bring those.
If not, though, there are many other forms of ID that we accept.
If you don't have any of the pieces of ID on that list, you can also bring someone to vouch for you. That person needs to live in the same voting area as you, and they do need to have ID. They can't have been vouched for as well.
Q: Can you wear a political T-shirt to the polling station?
Bell: There isn't campaigning allowed at voting places. Obviously candidates are welcome to visit their voting place and to cast their ballot like anyone else, but we do ask that they come in, cast their ballot and leave fairly promptly.
We do expect that candidates would get asked questions and, you know, say hello and greet staff on their way in and out, and that's fine. But there is a line between being friendly and campaigning. So for candidates, in particular, they will need to follow those rules.
That rule would apply to everyone else. Everyone is welcome to come, and we understand that everyone has different political views,. But we do ask that you're not expressing those to people while you're voting and not trying to persuade or intimidate or threaten people in any way. Of course, that would not be tolerated at a voting place.
Q: Do employers have to give you time off to vote?
Answer from the Elections Alberta website:
The Election Act requires employers to provide employees with time off to vote, as follows:
Electors should have three consecutive, non-work hours to vote during one of the days of advance voting or on election day.
If an elector's work schedule does not provide for the three consecutive hours, the employer must provide extra time off. The employer retains the right as to when to give the employee time off, whether on any of the days of advance voting or on election day.
When the extra hours are provided by the employer, the time given must be paid, and no penalty should be imposed on the employee for taking time off.
The extra time off is for voting only. Electors may also vote by special ballot.
Electors that have already voted are not eligible for extra time off on an advance voting day or on election day.
Q: Is there any other important information that you think people might need to know?
Bell: I would just emphasize that if you are wanting to take advantage of the Vote Anywhere service or a mobile voting station or the voter assist terminals that are available at advance voting, make sure you take advantage of that option before 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 27. That's when advanced voting ends.
So if you have left voting until May 29 on election day, you will have to visit that assigned voting location.
And the assigned voting locations on election day are not equipped with the voter assist terminals. And so if you want to make use of that technology, I would encourage you to do so before the end of day on Saturday.