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Advance polls have proven increasingly popular in recent years. In 2016, 17,602 of the 80,262 ballots cast — more than 28 per cent — came from advance polls.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led city officials to further expand advance polling capacity by around a third this time, which is expected to reduce wait times on election day.
While advance voting can legally begin 15 days before election day, city hall has chosen to wait until Oct. 30, four days after the provincial election, to start, with the aim of avoiding confusion.
Advance voting concludes on Nov. 5, four days before the election.
Voting locations include Lawson Heights Mall, Confederation Mall, Centre Mall, Market Mall, City Hall, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Station 20 West and Lakewood Civic Centre.
A full schedule of dates and times is available on the City of Saskatoon website.
Residents can vote at any advance poll regardless of which ward they live in, and are asked to fill out their voter registration form before arriving at the polling station to save time.
Voter registration forms will be available in PDF form on the city website and in the voter’s guide, which will be published and mailed out in October.
A total of 196 mail-in ballots were counted in the 2016 municipal election, but election officials expect that number to be much higher this year.
As a result, city council has changed the rules so residents can apply for a mail-in ballot package online, as well as by in-person appointment. Identification must be scanned and submitted as part of the application.