Alberta Election: Don’t worry about special instructions for advance ballots

Elections Alberta says votes counted strictly based on voter intent

Hundreds of thousands of Albertans have cast their ballot in the province's advanced vote. AZIN GHAFFARI / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Either X or circle marks the spot on advance ballots.

Calgarians voting outside of their riding in advance polls may be confused by the special ballot instructions, but don’t worry: Your vote will be counted regardless of if you mark an X or a circle.

On Thursday, Calgary-Hays United Conservative Party (UCP) candidate Ric McIver tweeted that people had called him about the new ballots.

Elections Alberta explained that the circle is encouraged on Vote Anywhere ballots – which enable people to vote outside of their riding –  so that those ballots can be read by a tabulator.

“This is to help voters see where they should mark those ballots (since they look different then they are used to), and [it] helps to have them make a mark in the circle,” said Elections Alberta’s Pamela Renwick.

“Sometimes when placing an X or a checkmark, they can inadvertently miss the circle altogether.”

However, voters should not worry about an inadvertent spoiled ballot if they miss that circle. Enumerators will look at any ballots that the tabulator cannot read.

Elections Alberta’s sample ballot. SCREENSHOT

“As long as we can see how the voter intended to vote, and only selected one candidate, we will count that ballot.”

Advance voting continues Friday and ends Saturday.

The advance vote turnout has shattered last election’s numbers, with about 403,000 Albertans voting so far. About 44,000 of those have been Vote Anywhere ballots.

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