City of Saskatoon looking at polls in hospitals and care facilities for civic election
An election official hands back to a voter her marked ballot to place in the ballot box so she can cast her vote for the federal election at a polling station on Toronto's Ward Island on Monday, May 2, 2011. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
SASKATOON -- Voters at Saskatoon hospitals may not have to go far to cast a ballot in the upcoming civic election.
A report from Returning Office Scott Bastian is recommending that a poll be setup at Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon City Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Parkridge Centre on election day, which is set for Nov. 9.
“Elections Saskatchewan has requested that Saskatchewan municipalities implement the same protocol as the province for hospital, personal care facilities, and homebound voting so that the voting experience is the same between the provincial and municipal elections and since the province’s protocol has been approved by the Chief Medical Health Officer,” the report reads.
The report says voting in hospitals would be conducted in two ways. A voting location would be setup in a common area, with eligible voters registering to vote, and casting their ballot in a ballot box. Election officials, with a facility staff member, would also go room-to-room and bring a ballot box to patients who are not mobile enough to visit the common area. The same method would be used for voting in a personal care home.
A recommendation is also being made to establish a special advance poll at a number of personal care facilities.
“The Returning Officer will continue to work with the hospitals, personal care facilities, and similar institutions to facilitate special poll voting. The priority is to ensure a safe election for voters, election officials, candidates and their agents,” the report reads.
The recommendations are on the agenda for the next city council meeting on Monday.