On October 16, 2017 Calgarians will be going to the polls to elect their mayor, their city councillor and their school board trustee. This is an incredibly significant election as municipal politics, and the services we receive from our city government and school board trustees, touch our lives daily.
We’ve posted blogs about why it is critical that women vote and the importance of women’s representation in politics as elected officials, specifically exploring our first female city councillor Annie Gale. In preparation for the upcoming election, this post will help you understand how to vote, when to vote and some of the changes Calgarians will experience with the reshaping of our ward boundaries.
Get the Facts
This year the City of Calgary published a website – www.calgary.ca/election – dedicated to the municipal election. It features candidate profiles, the latest election news, voting information and almost anything you may need to know election-related. It’s an incredible resource and can help you determine what area you live in (known as a ‘ward’), who is running in your ward and how you can make sure you are able to cast your vote.
Election day is Monday, October 16, 2017. This is the day that voting stations will be open for Calgarians across the city to vote. Your designated voting station location can be found at www.calgary.ca/election. This will have the times that voting stations will be open, as well.
Some people find it hard to get to the polls on a specific day. You may be working, have trouble finding childcare, be out of town, have mobility issues that make it a challenge to leave your home or simply not be available on that day.
Advanced Vote Stations opened yesterday, October 4, and run until October 11 (excluding Monday October 9 for Thanksgiving). You can vote at ANY advanced voting station. Just make sure you bring a piece of ID with you.
Some advanced voting stations close to the Women’s Centre include:
Municipal Building Atrium (City Hall)
800 MacLeod Trail SE
October 4,5,6,10 and 11 from Noon to 5pm
Bow Valley College (across from The Market)
345 6 Ave SE
October 4,5 from 10am to 6pm
Vote Bus – Calgay Drop-In Centre
1 Dermot Baldwin Way SE
October 4,11 from 11:30am to 2pm
For a full list of Advanced Voting Stations please follow the link.
You can also mail-in your ballot. The easiest way to request a mail-in ballot by calling 403-476-4100 (option 2) or by requesting an online form. Once you receive your ballot package simply follow the instructions provided. You will need to have a photocopy of a piece of identification to mail-in, as well.
Who Can Vote & I.D.
To vote in a municipal election you must bee 18 years old, a Canadian citizen, a resident of Alberta for the last 6 months and a resident of the city and the ward that you are voting in.
You also need to provide one piece of authorized identification, which could be a driver licence, a bank statement, a government benefits statement, just to name a few.
Ward Boundary Changes
As of this election the communities that make up each ward will significantly change. These changes happen to ensure that all wards have a relatively equal number of people living in each of them. The ward boundary changes affect over 58 communities in Calgary, so there is a good chance that it has affected yours.
With so many ways to vote, there is no reason not too. Let’s make sure as women that we get involved, get engaged and get out there to vote.
Happy voting, everyone!
This post was written by Katie, a member of the Women’s Centre Social Policy Committee.