Alberta polls close, results pending

Polls have closed in Alberta with officials saying voting went smoothly, despite a shortage of election staff causing minor delays.
Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper casts his ballot in southwest Calgary as his wife, Laureen, and daughter Rachel look on. ((Tom Hanson/Canadian Press))

Polls have closed in Alberta, with officials saying voting went smoothly, despite a shortage of election staff that caused minor delays.  

Polls opened at 7:30 a.m. and closed at 7:30 p.m. MT Tuesday. CBC News cannot legally publish any results until 8 p.m.

Elections Canada said fewer people signed up to work at the polls for this election than in previous years, and others called in sick or didn't show up in the morning.

Voter David Couroux said he arrived at Calgary's Talisman Centre just after polls opened, but officials had no way of letting him cast his ballot.

"After a few minutes, we were told that there was no ballot box for the residents of our area and then we were told that we would not be able to cast a ballot at that time," he told CBC News.

Couroux said he and about half a dozen voters were told to come back later.

Voting information:

Elections Canada

"Somebody didn't show up at the last minute this morning, so there was a little bit of a delay, but apparently everything was fine by 10 minutes later," explained Marie France-Kenny, Elections Canada spokeswoman for Alberta.

Couroux said he'll try to vote again after work. "I'm just surprised that that sort of thing is not taken care of before the polling station opens," he said. "I just don't find it acceptable that someone can show up during voting hours and be turned away."

At some stations, polls were merged because there was no deputy returning officer and a poll clerk for the ballot box.

In Edmonton, some stations were left short-staffed in the morning when workers went to the wrong polls.

A voter enters a polling station in Cremona, northwest of Calgary, Tuesday. ((Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press))

During the 2006 federal election, more than 1.4 million Albertans voted, a 62 per cent voter turnout for the province. In that election, Conservative candidates took all 28 seats in the province, capturing 65 per cent of the Alberta popular vote.

Almost 1.5 million voters across the country — nearly 103,000 in Alberta — cast ballots in advance polls this month.