Voting in Edmonton election off to a slow start

Election day in Edmonton got off to a slow start Monday with quiet voting stations across the city.

67,511 Edmontonians had voted as of 4 p.m., down from 83,477 in 2013

Muna Ahmed [right] fills out her ballot in the gymnasium of Kirkness School. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Election day in Edmonton got off to a slow start Monday with quiet voting stations across the city.

In a northeast Edmonton gymnasium around noon, Muna Ahmed voted in Ward 4. At the time, she was one of only four voters in the Kirkness School gym.

"I hope it goes well because it's always important to vote," Ahmed said. "Most people I speak to are saying they're going to go out and vote, which is great."

In the ward, 12 candidates are running and one of them will be the ward's new councillor as Ed Gibbons did not run again.

Ahmed said she is happy there are so many candidates to choose from.

"I feel like they represent the people of the ward really well," she said. "The diversity of them represents our diversity in this ward. That's great."

Voters walk past election signs outside of Kirkness School on election day. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

At the St. Catherine elementary and junior high school in Ward 6, Henry Sutton cast his vote. There were only five people at the polling station at that time.

Sutton said he doesn't expect a new mayor or councillor, but said it was still important to vote.

"I think it's going to be a pretty good turnout because pre-election advance polls were quite big," Sutton said.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, 67,511 Edmontonians had voted, compared to the 83,477 people who voted in the city's last election in 2013 by the same time.

"[It's] a little bit down from 2013, but like I said, overall I think we're about the same [because] our advance vote numbers were a little bit higher than 2013," said Linda Sahli, returning officer for Edmonton Elections 2017.

"Things are running very smoothly today. We've had a few minor challenges," said Sahli. "We've addressed them and all of our processes are running very smooth."

The polls close at 8 p.m. tonight. If voters are inside the voting station before then, they will be allowed to vote.

Voting results are expected to be released at 8:30 p.m.

Where to tune in

CBC Edmonton will post live video coverage from our free election party at the Garneau Theatre from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. on our Facebook page.

Special radio coverage on 93.9 FM starts at 9 p.m. and runs until