Record numbers of advanced and mail-in voting

Record numbers of Saskatchewan residents are voting by mail and in advanced polls this year according to data released Thursday.

Advance voting began Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m. at locations across Saskatchewan.

Day one saw 41,527 voters head to the polls — far more than the previous day one record of 24,615 set in 2016. Even more voters used advance polls Thursday, with a new record turnout of 43,409. That means that 84,936 ballots have already been cast ahead of election day on October 26.

Officials have been encouraging residents to use mail-in and advance voting during off-peak hours to limit their chance of exposure to COVID-19.

Vote by mail applications closed last Thursday. Yesterday, the province announced that a record 61,412 ballot kits were mailed to Saskatchewan voters this year.

Anyone who received a vote by mail ballot package can also choose to vote in person or may choose to not return a marked ballot.

Locally, more than 2,500 voters requested a mail-in ballot, with 498 kits sent to Batoche, 935 to Prince Albert Carlton, 568 to Prince Albert Northcote and 555 to Saskatchewan Rivers.

Elections Saskatchewan defends advance poll locations

The locations chosen for advance polls in Prince Albert this year have raised alarm bells for some.

Prince Albert Northcote voters can cast ballots at Midtown Hall or the Prince Albert Exhibition, while Prince Albert Carlton voters can attend to Carlton Park Hall, Holiday In Express or Prince Albert Inn.

Some have noted that none of the advance poll locations are particularly accessible to people who live in the city’s west end, which traditionally has lower incomes and fewer transportation options.

Elections Saskatchewan, though, said advance poll locations were chosen based on where there was enough space for physical distancing requirements set out by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, limiting some space options.

“In the 2016 general election there were only two advance polls in Prince Albert Northcote located at the Midtown Hall,” spokesperson Tim Kydd said in a statement.

“This election we added an advance poll at the PA Exhibition Centre as due to physical distancing requirements, there were no readily available non-school options in the West Flat.”

Voting day polls in the West Flat are all located in schools, as no other options were available, Kydd said.

Voters can locate their assigned poll on their voter cards, which residents began to receive last week.

Alternatively, residents can enter their address online at and receive information about the recommended advance and regular polls they can use to vote.

Regular polls will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Oct. 26.