Weekend of advance polls sees 50,000 cast ballots in Manitoba election

Advance polls have only been open for a few days, but Manitoba voters are already turning out early in large numbers to cast their ballots in the provincial election.

Elections Manitoba says almost 50,000 people have already marked their ‘X’ in the first two days of advance voting.

The agency’s Mike Ambrose told 680 CJOB’s The Start that voters are taking advantage of the more options that are available this time around.

“There are about 300 advance voting locations open provincewide. We’re seeing a lot of people voting in the malls, that’s in Winnipeg, in Brandon,” Ambrose said.

“Also, starting today people will be able to vote on campus. We’ll be opening the advance voting locations on college and university campuses throughout the province.”

Ambrose said the advance polls saw around 32,000 voters Saturday and an additional 17,000 Sunday. In the last provincial election, in 2019, the total number of advance ballots cast across all eight days was 113,000.

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“We do see, election after election, the number of people who vote in advance has been increasing. The overall percentage of advance voting was pretty similar between 2016 and 2019, but it’s definitely been a strong weekend of voting.”

Overall, there are more than 866,000 eligible Manitobans on the voters’ list.

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Advance polling runs for a full week, until Sept. 30, and voters are free to access any of the 300-plus polling places across the province, which include a number of local malls, community centres, churches and post-secondary institutions.

In Winnipeg, you can also vote at The Forks, the airport, Health Sciences Centre and more.

In order to vote, you must be a Canadian citizen 18 or older and you must have lived in Manitoba for at least six months prior to election day.

If you’ve received a voter information card, Elections Manitoba says you should bring that to the polling place. The card will count as one piece of identification, and to vote, you need either a government-issued photo ID with your address or two other pieces of ID, which could include a passport, treaty card, Manitoba health card, utility bill or a number of other options.

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