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How Yukoners can vote in the 2021 election

Yukoners are set to hit the polls for the territorial election on April 12, but things will look a little different this year.

Things will look a little different this year due to the pandemic

Yukoners are set to hit the polls for the territorial election on April 12, but things will look a little different this year due to the COVID-19. (CBC)

Yukoners are set to hit the polls for the territorial election on April 12, but like most events since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it will look a little different than previous years.

Max Harvey, Yukon's chief electoral officer, says about 100 more election workers will be needed than in 2016 — about 600 total.

"That's primarily because we'll have a few more venues where people can vote. And also, we've added extra staff to help with making sure traffic flows and the COVID distancing is all in place and such," Harvey said.

Eligible voters can register online, by email, regular mail or in person at a returning office or polling station, he said.

People who want to vote now can do so by special ballot, and unlike in 2016, you no longer need to give reason to do so.

"Anybody can vote by special ballot. It's open to any eligible elector," said Harvey, adding that they must be returned by the times the polls close.

In-person voting will look a bit different this year too, in order to follow public health guidelines due to the pandemic.

Pencils will be sanitized after each use and people will be expected to wear masks, maintain physical distancing, and to sanitize their hands going in and out of the polls.

With the territory's growing population, Harvey said there are almost 4,500 to 5,000 more electors than in 2016.

About 50 people have already voted, said Harvey, with the first of them voting about 15 minutes after the writ was issued.

People can pick up an application at any returning office and they will be processed there and they will be issued a ballot.

If people are at their local returning office, in their voting district, they can fill out their ballot and they can deposit it and their vote is complete. 

If you are picking up an application at a returning office other than your own, they will give you an application there, and will encourage you to fill it out and you can mail it, or return it to your local returning office, or at the dropbox in Whitehorse. 

There are also applications available online.

More information about candidates and where to vote can be found here or you can call 867-667-8683.

with files from Elyn Jones

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