Concerns over gathering and Covid-19 mean that Selkirk residents will be placing their votes in the Oct. 26 election in different locations than in previous years.
The Manitoba School Boards Association made the difficult decision not to host polling stations for the upcoming election. School will be in session in October and because the spread of Covid-19 is still a concern, especially in the fall, the division declined to have its schools used for voting stations.
Alison Sinclair, Senior Elections Official for the City of Selkirk, the city has always been divided into four zones and had four polling stations. With the school board opting out, the city had to redivide its zones in an effort to have the least amount of impact on voters.
All four voting locations have changed for 2022
For the past 12 years, the city’s polling stations had been Lutheran Hall, Robert Smith School, Daerwood School and Centennial School. None of these locations are available for the October 2022 election.
“It was a challenge to find new locations, and in the end the city was unable to have a polling station in each zone. No matter where you live and which zone you are in, you will be going to a different location to vote than you’re used to,” Sinclair said.
“Zone 1 residents will vote at the Gordon Howard Centre, which is located in Zone 1, but Zones 2-4 will all be voting at locations in Zone 2.”
Many organizations had concerns over gathering and Covid, which made securing new locations difficult.
Mail-in ballots an option
Selkirk CAO Duane Nicol said qualified voters that cannot attend regular polls on election day or advance polls can vote by mail-in-ballot.
“There are challenges for citizens every election whether it be accessibility, or other commitments that prevent in-person voting. We recognize that this year may be even harder for folks,” Nicol said.
The new zones and descriptions are shown below.
Zone 1 residents will vote at the Gordon Howard Centre; Zone 2 residents will vote at Memorial Hall; in Zone 3 residents will cast their ballots at the Gaynor Family Regional Library, and in Zone 4 voters will go to the Notre Dame Church.
Sinclair said it’s unfortunate that voting locations couldn’t be found within each zone and noted that each polling station can only accommodate a specific number of residents.
“Voter cards will be mailed to each home in Selkirk detailing where to go to vote. Included on that card will be information on obtaining mail-in ballots for those who cannot make it to the polls on Oct. 26,” she said.
“It’s a difficult situation but we understand the school associations desire to be responsible and cautious as Covid continues to be a concern. The city wanted to make everyone aware of the changes well in advance of the October election and I hope that people will take time to familiarize themselves with the new zones and voting locations.”
Are you registered to vote?
MySelkirk.ca/elections is set up to answer all your questions, from whether you are registered to vote and if you’re not, how to register. It will also tell you what zone you are in and provide information on obtaining a mail-in-ballot package. On election day, the city website will have tools available right on the homepage to help remind voters where to go to vote.
Please make sure you are registered to vote HERE
North Selkirk up to and including Superior Avenue (both sides of Superior), as well as Manitoba Avenue (both sides of Manitoba)and Clandeboye Avenue(both sides of Clandeboye) west of Main Street
Manitoba Avenue and Clandeboye Avenue (both sides of Manitoba and Clandeboye) between Main Street and Mercy Street and all addresses between Eaton Avenue and Strathnaver Avenue (both sides of Eaton and Strathnaver) west of Mercy Street
All addresses between and including: Manitoba Avenue and Strathnaver Avenue (both sides of Manitoba and Strathnaver) east of Mercy Street (including Mercy Street)
All addresses South of Strathnaver Avenue (both sides of streets) (not including Strathnaver Avenue)