Voters had their first opportunity to cast their ballots early in the 2022 general local elections on Wednesday.
Some communities, like Cranbrook, had a significantly higher voter turnout this time, while others stayed relatively the same or reduced numbers from the last election.
Voters in most communities, other than Radium Hot Springs, will have another opportunity for early voting next week.
You will be able to cast your ballot in advance between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. between Tuesday and Thursday next week, depending on what community you live in.
General voting day is set for October 15th, you can visit the link below to find where your local polling station is, as well as more details about who is running.
Advance polling turnout
29 voters showed up to cast their ballot on Wednesday.
Canal Flats Corporate Officer Sylvie Hoobanoff said this is down from 2018 when 51 people voted in advance polling.
The community has 408 registered voters.
The next opportunity for advance polling in Canal Flats is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct 13, at the Columbia Discovery Centre (8866 Grainger Road)
Cranbrook had a significant increase in advance voter turnout on the first day.
According to city officials, 696 residents cast their ballots on Wednesday, compared to 483 in 2018.
Cranbrook has an estimated 16,169 eligible voter population.
The next opportunity for advance polling in Cranbrook is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct 12, at the Parkview Pavilion Senior Centre (125 17th Avenue South).
Elkford’s voter turnout was down slightly for the first day of advance polling.
Election officials said 167 people cast their ballot on Wednesday, compared to 179 in 2018.
Elkford has 1,993 eligible voters.
The next opportunity for advance polling in Cranbrook is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct 11 at the Elkford Municipal Office (744 Fording Drive).
Fernie had a slight decrease in its voter turnout on day one of advance polling.
413 residents showed up to vote on Wednesday, compared to 502 on the first day of advance polling in 2018.
This is out of a total estimated voter population of 4,552.
The next opportunity for advance polling in Fernie is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct 12, at the Fernie Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre (562 – 3rd Avenue).
Election officials said they are very happy with Kimberley’s early voter turnout on Wednesday.
444 residents cast their ballots to decide who would be on the next city council.
In 2018, 228 people showed up for the first advance polling opportunity.
Kimberley has 6,182 residents who are qualified to vote.
The next opportunity for advance polling in Kimberley is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct 12, at Centennial Hall (100 4th Avenue).
Radium Hot Springs:
In Radium Hot Springs, 194 residents showed up to cast their ballots early on Wednesday.
The community does not have numbers from 2018 to compare, as officials said all local elections have been won by acclimation since 2011.
Radium has about 1,119 people who are eligible to vote.
This was the only opportunity for early polling in Radium Hot Springs. Residents will still have the chance to cast their ballots on general voting day on Oct. 15.
Regional District of East Kootenay:
Only voters in areas A, E, and G will be participating in this election, as races in areas B, C and F have all been won by acclimation.
Electoral Area A had 93 early voters, 50 people voted early in Area E and 30 ballots were cast in Area G.
In 2018, Area A was won by acclimation, while 64 people voted early in Area E and 22 people cast their ballots in early polling in Area G.
Early polling will open back up 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Hosmer Community Hall (7431 6 Ave.) for Area A, Wasa Community Hall (6145 Wasa School Rd.) in Area E and Best Western Plus Prestige Inn Radium Hot Springs (7493 Main St. W.) in Area G.
299 people showed up to cast their vote in Sparwood’s early polling on Wednesday.
This is out of 3,015 eligible voters.
The next opportunity for advance polling in Sparwood is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct 11, at the Sparwood Seniors Drop-In Centre (101-4th Avenue).