Interest high for advance polls

Plenty of people in Kelowna are taking the opportunity to vote early.

Plenty of people in Kelowna are taking the opportunity to vote early.

After a turnout described by city officials as heavy on the first day of the advance polls for the Saturday’s civic election last week, a larger number of voters cast ballots on the second day of advance polling on Wednesday.

A total of 2,685 people showed up to cast ballots at three advance poll locations Wednesday, pushing to total number of advance ballots cast over the first two days to 4,748.

That number easily eclipsed the total recorded during the two days of advance voting prior to the 2008 civic election.

But election officials do not want to see the strong early numbers result in the same low-voter overall turnout that occurred three years ago. Despite strong early numbers in 2008, the overall voter turnout was a paltry 19.4 per cent.

This year, there are four days of advance polls, with yesterday and today added to the first two days.

The official election day is Saturday. As will be the case on Saturday, the advance poll today will be open at City Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The City Hall polling station features a voter-assist terminal, which provides those with disabilities and other special needs to mark their ballot privately and independently.

On Saturday, there will be 10 polling stations available for voters to choose from, including one at Orchard Park Shopping Centre. That one, however, will close at 6 p.m. when the mall closes.

All other polling locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other polling location include A.S. Matheson Elementary School (2090 Gordon Drive), City Hall, the East Kelowna Community Hall (2704 East Kelowna Road), the Okanagan Mission Community Hall (4409 Lakeshore Road), the Kelowna Family Y in Rutland (375 Hartman Road), the Parklinson Recreation Centre, Springvalley Middle School (350 Ziprick Road), St. Paul’s United Church (3131 Lakeshore Road) and Watson Road Elementary School in Glenmore (475 Yates Road).

To be eligible to vote in Kelowna, you must live in the city, be 18 years of age or older, have lived in B.C. for at least the last six months and be a Canadian citizen.

You do not need to own property in the city to be eligible to vote. Non-resident property owners can also vote in the civic election.

Take two pieces of identification with you to the polling station (you can choose which one you want to vote at), one showing your signature and another showing your address.

For more election information go to the city’s election page at kelowna.ca/election.