Sun Can't Stifle Advance Turnout

Article excerpt

Fort Whyte polls see steady weekend traffic

Almost 450 voters cast an advance ballot this weekend in the Fort Whyte byelection -- pleasantly surprising election officials.

Amid concerns a late-summer byelection would deter voter turnout, polling officers Don and Brenda Gibson said they were pleasantly surprised at the constant stream of voters.

"It's been pretty steady. Yesterday was hugely busy," Brenda Gibson said Sunday from the Linden Woods Community Centre polling station.

"There were over 200 people just at this location, which is more than we were expecting. We've had beautiful sunny days, a little windy, but people have still been coming in to vote and happy to do so," Don Gibson said.

Rita Serbin, returning officer for the riding, said 305 people turned up Saturday during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. voting hours, while 142 voted on Sunday during its noon to 6 p.m. voting hours.

Premier Greg Selinger called the byelection on Aug. 3 after former provincial PC leader Hugh McFadyen resigned.

Leann Smith voted Sunday at the Linden Woods Community Centre. Smith said she didn't mind the August election and likes that it will get her riding's candidate elected sooner.

"There's enough pre-voting days that I think should be able to cover everybody, even cottagers," Smith said. …