Election Day 2017 is here and Red Deerians are flocking to the polls today to cast their ballots for Mayor, City Councillors and Public and Catholic School Trustees.
With the polls open until 8:00 p.m. tonight, voters are reminded to confirm their voting station, be mindful of the busier times of day such as dinner and bring their ID before heading out.
There are two Red Deer Mayoral candidates to choose from in this year’s election, including incumbent Tara Veer and challenger Sean Burke.
There are 29 candidates vying for eight spots on city council, including seven incumbents and 16 people running for Public School Trustee.
In addition, six people are running for Catholic School Trustee in the Red Deer Area Ward, two for the Highway 11 Ward and one person winning by acclamation in the QE2 Ward.
Red Deer Returning Officer Frieda McDougall says the day is running smoothly so far, with very few issues being identified and several voters coming before the polls opened at 10:00 a.m., eager to cast their ballot.
McDougall said voter turnout in the Advance Polls was up over 2013’s Municipal Election.
“We had five Advance Voting Days and with the exception of one day, all of those days were up over 2013," she said. "Overall, our results were that 2,626 people came out and voted at Advance and that’s an 18 per cent increase over 2013, so we’re hoping that that increase plays itself out today.”
Voter turnout was just over 31 per cent in the 2013 Municipal Election, a number McDougall hopes is surpassed in 2017.