By Lethbridge Herald on October 8, 2021.
Residents of Lethbridge are offered a plethora of options during a drive-thru that runs this weekend at the fairgrounds.
But this drive-thru doesn’t serve burgers and fries: its menu includes 32 city councilors and six mayoral candidates.
The drive-thru advance poll, accessible through the east entrance to the fairgrounds near Bully’s, is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Sunday.
On Friday, polling day one, vehicles lined up in the inner lane of South Parkside Drive westbound as voters headed to the polls ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.
The city said Saturday morning that a new one-day advance polling record was set on Friday at the fairgrounds with 1,420 ballots cast there.
Those interested in wait times can find out ahead of time by visiting the City’s website at lethbridge.ca
Returning officer Bonnie Hilford told media on Friday that “we thank the Lethbridge people for their patience today in this new initiative,” she said of the long line.
Hilford said the first two days of advance polls attracted 1,255 voters, up from 543 in 2017, more than double the turnout in the last municipal election.
âIt’s very encouraging,â said Hilford.
“We hope people will have the patience to queue,” she added.
“I think people are quite informed about this election,” she said as a possible reason for the high early turnout.
âThey watched the videos, they read a lot, so they want to go out, they want to make their decision. With COVID still lingering, people want a safe place to vote and in their cars, they think this is the place to do it, âsaid Hilford.
The drive-thru option can also work on election day, Hilford added.
âWe are planning to do it on election day; we just wanted to see how it went this weekend, if it’s popular. And it’s popular. If people have a good experience of it, then we could definitely consider doing it on election day, âshe said.
With horse races and a farmers’ market also taking place this weekend at Exhibition Park, Hilford said a scrimmage was taking place on Friday to discuss what can be done to ease the lines and “see what can be done to make it easier for people coming to vote and people doing other business here at the show. We want to make sure everyone has a good experience and can get to where they need to be ” , she said.
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