Voting options for the 2020 Saskatchewan election

Saskatchewan heads to the polls on Oct. 26, but what are the voting options?

Elections Saskatchewan says there are three ways to vote — by mail, at an advance poll or on election day.

There are also special voting opportunities for those facing significant barriers to voting.

Read more: Saskatchewan election tracker 2020 — Here’s what the parties are promising

A number of measures are being taken by Elections Saskatchewan to protect workers and voters amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Barriers will be set up at advance polling entrances and at the poll tables.

Two metre distancing is required between people and regular sanitization of surfaces will be carried out.

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All workers and candidate observers will be wearing face masks and voters are encouraged to wear a mask, which will be provided if needed.

Mail voting

The first option is voting by mail — also called absentee vote by mail.

Elections Saskatchewan said this option has been in use for a number of elections the process is already underway.

Voters who want to choose this option have until Oct. 15 to make their application.

When applying, individuals must provide a photograph or scan of their driver’s license, a Saskatchewan non-driver’s photo ID or another piece of government ID that includes a name, address and photograph.

If two pieces of ID are used, one can be a piece of government ID and the other a document with the person’s name and address.

Elections Saskatchewan said individuals approved to vote by mail will receive confirmation.

Starting on Sept. 29, Elections Saskatchewan will send out ballot packages that must be mailed back on or before Oct. 26.

A preliminary count will then take place on Oct. 28.

Read more: Saskatchewan election: ridings and candidates

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Advance polls

The second option is at advance polls.

Five days are set aside prior to an election day for advance polls. Those will run from Oct. 20 to 24 from 12 noon until 8 p.m. each day.

There are over 300 advance polls in the province and voters will be directed to a specific advance poll on their voter information card.

Election day

Polling stations will be open on Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Prior to election day, people will receive a voter information card (VIC) either in the mail or electronically.

Elections Saskatchewan said this provides information on where to vote and also serves as a second piece of ID to establish a voter’s residential address.

Click to play video 'Saskatchewan provincial election called for October 26' Saskatchewan provincial election called for October 26

Saskatchewan provincial election called for October 26

Special voting opportunities

Not everyone is able to cast a ballot either by mail, at advance polls or on election day.

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Elections Saskatchewan says they have taken steps over the years to ensure special voting opportunities are provided for individuals facing significant barriers.

Changes have been made to ensure the safety of election workers and voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FULL COVERAGE: 2020 Saskatchewan Election

Hospitals and personal care facilities

Two election workers will service a central voting location at hospitals.

In cases where individuals are unable to vote at the central location, election workers will be accompanied by hospital or facility staff to assist in administrating the vote.

Armed services, remand and correctional facilities

The only option is to vote by absentee vote by mail. The deadline to register is Oct. 15.

Homebound voting

Based on the advice of the province’s chief medical health officer, Elections Saskatchewan said workers are not allowed to visit homes for this election.

Homebound voting will be administered in the same manner as voting by mail.

Extraordinary voting

Elections Saskatchewan said a system has been designed to allow individuals who are either quarantined or self-isolating to vote.

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Officials said it will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of voters while still giving them access to the ballot but did not provide any details.

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