CALGARY (660 NEWS) – There’s already been a record number of voters heading to advance polling and while that’s great for the democratic process, it could make for some serious nail-biting on election night and afterwards.
It’s all because of the new ‘vote anywhere’ option during the polls, allowing voters to cast a ballot at any station in the province during advance voting.
According to Drew Westwater with Elections Alberta he says all the votes cast by people outside their home riding won’t be counted until the day after the election.
“We will not know the unofficial winner until we’ve finished counting those, so far 83,000 (ballots) and whatever number we get until Saturday.”
The 83,000 is the number of ballots cast so far from those who voted outside their riding, Westwater says the total number of advance votes so far has eclipsed 270,000.
That accounts for roughly one-third of the ballots cast so far, with Westwater anticipating about one-third of all ballots will be cast at advance polling stations.
That means that anywhere between 10 and 15 per cent of all votes could be counted on April 17, after the election, meaning that finalizing the unofficial results could be delayed.
Back in the 2015 election, roughly 15 ridings were decided by 10-per cent or less.
Westwater says that it’s all due to legislation that paved the way for the ‘vote anywhere’ option.
“When the legislature passed these, they were in agreement that they wouldn’t get the final results election night and they were quite comfortable with waiting for a couple days to get the final results, the unofficials.”
The official results of the election won’t be finalized until 10 days after election day.