Higher than normal turnout for advance poll

Gary
Gary Kean
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CORNER BROOK — Marina Redmond has worked many municipal elections and byelections, but was in awe of the turnout for Saturday’s advance poll in Corner Brook.

“I’ve never seen as many people as this for an advance poll,” said the city clerk and chief returning officer around 11:30 a.m.

“It’s been like this since we opened up at 8 o’clock.”

By the time the polls closed at 8 p.m., 572 voters had let their voices be heard via the ballot box which is a significant increase over the 272 advance poll voters in 2005 and the 144 in 2009.

Corner Brook residents Jerry Bartlett and his wife Ruby were among the steady flow of voters who wished to make their decisions before election day rolls around Sept. 24.

“We’re going to be out of town on election day, so we came down to vote this morning,” said Jerry. “I’d say we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes or so. I figured we’d just come down, walk on in and vote right away.”

The Bartletts didn’t mind voting early, saying they don’t think anything will happen in the coming week or so that will change their minds about who they selected as their choices for city council.

The City of Corner Brook usually takes advantage of having extra staff around on advance polling day to train the people who will be working the various polls that will be set up throughout the city for the big day Sept. 24.

Redmond said most of the advance poll voters tend to be from among those election workers being trained, but this year there were more residents than normal.

Tony Griffin was among the 77 people trained to work the election. He will be a deputy returning officer at St. Michael’s Church on Park Drive.

“I’ve always been interested in municipal politics,” he said after he finished learning the ropes of a municipal election. “The only way to find out about it is to get involved. I’ve never been involved at the municipal level before and wanted to see how it all comes all.”

Griffin wasn’t sure if he was going to cast his vote in advance Saturday or not since he will have time to vote on election day, even though he will be helping to ensure the voting runs smoothly.

The votes cast in the advance poll will not be counted until after all the polls close at 8 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Michael, Park Drive

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