ATHABASCA/BARRHEAD/WESTLOCK - With the last chance to cast your advance ballot for the 2021 federal election now passed, voters in the Town & Country region will head to the polls next Monday, Sept. 20 to decide who will represent them in Ottawa during the next sitting of Parliament.
Conservatives currently hold both local seats, with Arnold Viersen (Peace River-Westlock) and Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland) each hoping for their third election victory since 2015.
Viersen is being challenged by Darrell Boisson of the People’s Party of Canada, Colin Krieger of the Maverick Party, Jordan Francis MacDougall from the Green Party, Leslie Penny, representing the Liberal Party, and Gail Ungstad for the NDP.
In Lakeland, Stubbs will go up against the NDP’s Des Bissonnette, Kira Brunner from the Greens, Ann McCormack for the People’s Party, Fred Sirett from the Maverick Party and John Turvey from the Liberals.
Polls open across Alberta at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 and will remain open until 7:30 p.m.
For Lakeland voters in Athabasca, ballots can be cast at the Royal Canadian Legion at 4801 48th St., while in Boyle, the Seniors Drop-in Centre at 4803 3rd St. will host the polling station.
Peace River-Westlock voters in the Town of Barrhead can cast their votes at the Barrhead District Senior Centre at 5437 49th St. Those in the Town of Westlock can stop by the Westlock & District Community Hall at 10711 104th Ave. to cast their votes, while in the Village of Clyde, votes can be cast at the Clyde Curling Club.
Athabasca County, County of Barrhead, and Westlock County residents are advised to consult the Elections Canada website and enter their address to find their polling station, which could be in the nearest town, village or county hamlet.
Those who are not registered to vote may do so at their polling station on election day with appropriate identification and proof of address. Those who are registered already should bring the same. Acceptable identification includes a driver’s licence, or any other card issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial or local) with your photo, name and current address. There are also several dozen other pieces of ID that can be used in combination to prove your identity, which can also be found at the Elections Canada website.
A friend who is assigned to the same polling station can also vouch for you, but the voucher must be able to prove their identity and address.
Due to COVID, there will also be a few changes to the voting process.
Masks are required to be worn while in the polling station. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you, but those who refuse will be turned away. Electors who are exempt from wearing a mask for medical or other reasons will be allowed entry to the polling station.
Poll workers will be equipped with masks, face shields and other protective equipment, and will be behind Plexiglass. There will also be hand-washing stations available, and workers will be sanitizing the room frequently throughout the day.
Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil, but single-use pencils will also be available.
More information about voting next Monday can be found at www.elections.ca.