Calgary advance voting stations include new 'drive-up' option

Calgary's municipal election may not be until Oct. 16 but you can start voting as of Wednesday — without even leaving your car.

Starting Wednesday, you can cast early ballots for mayor, city council and school trustee

Sheila Johnstone with the City of Calgary shows off one of the mobile privacy folders Calgarians can use to vote in advance without ever leaving their car. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Calgary's municipal election may not be until Oct. 16 but you can start voting as of Wednesday — without even leaving your car.

A new "drive-up" advance voting station opens at 6:30 a.m. at McMahon Stadium.

Like all advance voting stations, the drive-up station allows voters to cast ballots for mayor, city councillor and school trustee regardless of which city ward they reside in.

Elections manager Paul Denys said it's a pilot project locally but has been employed in other jurisdictions in the past.

"It has been tried in Saskatchewan," he said. "We are the first ones to try it in Alberta and we are hoping that it's going to be successful and people will choose to take advantage of it."

A live video feed will be provided so voters can watch as an election worker physically takes their ballot from their vehicle to a nearby trailer and places it in the ballot box. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

The drive-up station is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Voters can can choose to step out of their vehicles and place their ballots directly in the ballot box or have an election worker do it for them at a nearby trailer.

To ensure the ballot is cast, voters can watch a live video feed of the election worker using an iPad that will be displayed to them next to their vehicle.

"It's something that you can do on your way to work," Denys said.

"We realize people are very busy, so we are going to be where people are."

A graphic from Elections Calgary explaining the advance voting dates for the 2017 municipal election. (City of Calgary)

While the drive-up station is only open until Friday, all other advance voting stations are open Oct. 4-11, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Oct. 9.

The City of Calgary has created an interactive map you can use to find the advance voting station nearest you.