Deadline approaching to run for municipal election
The deadline for those wanting to run for city council and in other local elections is Sept. 18. File photo/ Camrose Canadian
Camrosians will be going back to the polls this October, but for those wanting to be on the ballot the first day that matters is in September.
The deadline for candidate registration is Sept. 18 and those wanting to register must do so in person between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon at City Hall with their completed registration packages. The City hosted an information session on Wednesday for those interested in running for either mayor or council.
The registration deadline is not set up by the city, but by the Province of Alberta’s Local Authorities Act.
Returning Officer Kim Isaak says they will be prepared.
“I come from B.C. where it’s a 10-day window, so you will have them trickle in, so that two-hour period is going to be fast paced where people will come in and drop off their papers,” she said.
There were three candidates for mayor and 20 candidates for council for the last election, but that was a higher than average number of candidates. A municipal election in Camrose usually generates around a dozen candidates.
The big issue Isaak is working on is improving voter turnout. Despite the surplus in candidates in 2012, it did not translate into ballots being punched. There was a turnout of 33 per cent of the 13,835 eligible voters, a drop from 44 per cent in 2010.
“They say usually about 35 per cent to 40 is average,” said Isaak.
There will be an increase in polling stations with voting booths set up at the Mirror Lake Centre, Camrose Community Centre/Field House, Camrose United Church, Century Meadows Baptist Church and Sparling Elementary School. There will also be institutional travelling voting with voting booths brought to six different institutions for their residents: Bethany Meadows, Rosehaven, Sunrise Village, Deer Meadows, RoseAlta Lodge, and Viewpoint.
Aditionally there will be three advance vote dates set up for council chambers for those who are unable to make it to a polling station on election day: Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 11 from 1-7 p.m., and Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If an eligible registered voter is still physically unable to make one of those days or polling stations, there will be special mail-in ballots for the first time. Applications for a mail-in ballot will accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 6, and they will be made available for pick up and mail out starting on Sept. 26. Completed ballots must be received by Isaak by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 13.
The City will also be hosting five outreach booths during September and October to field questions from residents on voter eligibility and requirements: Community Registration night on Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m., Downtown Market on Sept. 14 from 4:30-7 p.m., Public Library on Sept. 22 from 1-3 p.m., at the Camrose Kodiaks hockey game on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., and at the Seniors Centre on Oct. 3 from 1-3.
As of Monday, there are five people who have filed their Notice of Intent to Become a Candidate form, which will allow them to accept contributions: Agnes Hoveland, Anthony G. Holler, P.J. Stasko, Mayor Norm Mayer and Bill Sears. Mayer and Sears have announced they will be running for mayor, while Camrose Chamber of Commerce president Julie Girard has also said she will be running for council.
For more information go to www.camrose.ca
Camrose County elects seven councillors with the county reeve nominated at the Organizational Meeting each fall among the elected officials. Those interested in running for council must also register on Sept. 18 between 10 a.m. and noon at the county office. For more information go to www.county.camrose.ab.ca.
Also up for election on Oct. 16 are the Battle River School Division and Elk Island Catholic Schools boards.