New 2013 election requirements for this fall

Most of us are aware that the 2013 Lacombe elections are being held on Oct. 21, but there are some who may not be aware that changes

NORMA MACQUARRIE

Most of us are aware that the 2013 Lacombe elections are being held on Oct. 21, but there are some who may not be aware that changes have been made to the provincial nomination and voter identification and eligibility requirements.

Potential candidates are advised that the term of office for local elected officials has now been increased to four years. As well, new nomination requirements state that the returning officer shall not accept a nomination form if it is not signed by at least the minimum number of electors.

Candidates are also reminded that they must submit their nomination documents to the Returning Officer at City Hall Council Chambers from 8 a.m. till noon on Nomination Day, Sept. 23.

There is now an additional requirement for a citizen to provide proof of identity and current residence in order to vote. An elector must produce one piece of identification that establishes both the elector’s name and current residential address. An elector may vote after producing government issued identification containing the elector’s photograph, current residential address and name. This includes an Operator’s (Driver’s) Licence or an Alberta Identification Card for non-drivers.

Types of chief electoral officer-approved identification allowed must show the name and address of the elector. Types of authorized identification include:

• bank/credit card statement or personal cheque

• correspondence issued by a school, college or university

• government cheque or cheque stub

• income/property tax assessment notice

• insurance policy or coverage card

• letter from a public curator, public guardian or public trustee

• one of the following, issued by the responsible authority of a shelter or soup kitchen: attestation of residence, letter of stay, admission form or statement of benefits • pension plan statement of benefits, contributions or participation

• prescription bottle insert

• residential lease or mortgage statement

• statement of government benefits, e.g. employment insurance, old-age security, social assistance, disability support or child tax benefit

• utility bill, e.g. telephone, public utilities commission, television, hydro, gas or water

• vehicle ownership or insurance certificate

To accommodate residents’ schedules, the City of Lacombe is offering advance-voting opportunities for voters. The first advance poll will be held on Oct. 16 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. The second advance poll is on Oct. 19 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. also in the City Hall Council Chambers.

Again, Oct. 21 is election day, and eligible electors can vote at the main polling station in the Lacombe Memorial Centre (5214-52 Ave.), from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. Also, there will be two institutional polling stations set up, one located at Lacombe Hospital & Care Centre (5430-47 Ave.) from 9 a.m. till noon, and the other at the Lacombe Senior Citizen’s Lodge (4508 C+E Trail) from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m. As well, a mobile poll will be established for incapacitated voters in our community so that they too can vote on election day. Call 403-782-6666 before Oct. 11 to register for this service.

Finally, the City of Lacombe is hiring election workers to help run the voting stations for the 2013 general elections. Contact the returning officer at 403-782-6666 for more information, or to apply.

I encourage all residents to get engaged and participate in this very important civic process. Your vote is the way you choose someone to represent you in municipal government. By this simple act, you are exercising a fundamental democratic right for which generations of Canadians have fought hard for, so that we can live in a free society.

Norma MacQuarrie is the chief administrative officer of Lacombe.