Jack and Jenny Oatway make their way to the polling station at Centre 2000 on Friday April 20, 2012.
Credits: ADAM JACKSON/DAILY HERALD-TRIBUNE/QMI AGENCY
CALGARY -- Voters flooded into advance polling stations ahead of Monday's provincial election, setting an early bird record, elections officials said.
"They've been steady and regular for all three days," Drew Westwater, director of election operations and communications at Elections Alberta, said of advance polls that ran from Thursday to Saturday.
"I can safely say we've had more voters in this election than we had in 2008, when we had the highest number of advance poll numbers."
But that doesn't necessarily mean voter turnout will be high on election day too, said Westwater.
"Also (in 2008) we had our worst turnout for the Monday so it's not always an indicator," he said. "The same ones who would vote just came in earlier."
New rules enacted during the last vote removed the need for voters to have a legitimate reason for using the advanced poll.
"Work commitments were taking you out of town or you were going to be away on polling day, you had to put a reason down and fill out a form when you voted in an advanced poll but that's been removed now," he said. "It just makes it easier and more convenient."
Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, but Westwater suggested going early.
"If they all wait until suppertime to go vote, which most people typically do, we will service them, they will get to vote, but there may be a bit of a lineup," he said. "If you go in the afternoon it's usually very quiet at the polls."
To vote on Monday, you have to be at least 18, a Canadian citizen and have lived in Alberta since Oct. 23, 2011.
"If you're on the list of electors, you don't need ID, you just come give your name and address," Westwater said.
"If you're not registered, you can still vote, you just have to bring ID and fill out a form to register as an elector."
ID must be government issued and list an address showing you live in the riding.