Saskatchewan·REGINA VOTES

Snow removers plowing the way for Regina civic election as polls open Monday morning

Polls for Regina's municipal election opened Monday at 9 a.m. CST in 32 locations amid a winter storm. The City of Regina is reminding voters to give themselves extra time and to drive safe in the winter weather.

Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST; voters encouraged to allow extra time due to winter conditions

Voters will head to the polls in Regina after a storm brought a major snow dump. (Cory Coleman/CBC)

Regina's civic election is going ahead as planned for the time being amid a winter snow storm, as polls opened on Monday at 9 a.m. CST.

A news release from the City of Regina said winter maintenance crews have been plowing major roadways in the city throughout the storm.

It also said crews have plowed in front of polling stations and will do so again later today as more snow is expected.

"While a slight deviation from our usual activities, it is important to ensure residents can have their say in our municipal government," the news release said.

As it stands, voters in Regina will have until 8 p.m. CST to cast their ballots. Unlike the provincial election, which accepted mail-in ballots after election day, the city said all mail-in ballots have to be received by the city by 8 p.m. CST Monday.

The City of Regina says it will be holding a news conference at 11:30 a.m. about the situation. 

The city is also reminding voters to give themselves extra time and to drive safe in the winter weather. The city is encouraging the use of transit, which is free for the election.

The province tweeted Monday morning that it is authorizing returning officers to postpone municipal and school division elections, if needed, because of the storm.

Nine people are running for mayor, 45 for city council, 16 for public school trustee and 12 for separate school board trustee.

When heading to the polls, people are asked to bring a government-issued photo ID with their name and address, or two pieces of government-issued ID, one showing their name and the other a name and address. 

Masks will be mandatory at all polls as a result of the provincial health order mandating masks in public indoor spaces. Elections Regina said people choosing to not wear a mask will not be allowed into the polling station and will instead be asked to do confidential curbside voting.

If someone is suddenly self-isolating due to COVID-19, Elections Regina said they should call the elections office for accommodations to be made. 

COVID-19 precautions will be in place at all polling stations. Election Regina said there will be hand sanitizing stations at the entrance, shared surfaces will be cleaned in between each voter, physical distancing will be maintained and voters will be screened at the entrance for COVID-19 risk factors.

All separate schools hosting election polls will be closed to students and staff.

The majority of public schools hosting polls will be closed. Three public schools — Wascana Plains School, W.S Hawrylak and Martin Collegiate — will remain open, but with safety protocols in place so there is no contact between students and the voting public.

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