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Polls Close for Alberta Election, Ballot Count Begins

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This is a developing story that will be updated throughout the evening.

Polls opened Monday in Alberta at 9 a.m. local time and closed at 8 p.m. in what political analysts called one of the closest elections in the province’s history.

All that remains now is for the ballots to be counted. There are 87 seats up for grabs in the Legislature. In this election, 49 UCP candidates and 19 NDP candidates are looking to be reelected in their respective ridings.

Albertans will soon find out if voters made what would be a historic decision and returned New Democrat Party (NDP) Leader Rachel Notley for a second term after her defeat by the United Conservative Party (UCP) in 2019, or returned UCP Leader Danielle Smith to the premier’s chair after a brief seven-month stint.

According to Elections Alberta, unofficial results will be released the evening of the election, May 29, reported as they are received from voting locations following the close of voting. All vote counts will then be verified during the official count process, with the Announcement of Official Results being made on June 8.

Epoch Times Photo
NDP Leader Rachel Notley and United Conservative Party Leader Danielle Smith are shown on the 2023 Alberta election campaign trail. (The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh)

The province has 2,840,813 registered voters, ran 255 advance polls, allowed 174 special ballots and 255 mobile votes, and has a total of 1,219 locations reporting, for a grand total of 1,903.

A total of 15 parties were eligible to run in the election; however, only the UCP and NDP put forward candidates in all ridings, making it a certainty that either Notley or Smith will be elected as premier for the upcoming term.

Both leaders had final messages and urged supporters to get out and vote.

“Friends, we won Calgary-Glenmore by six votes in 2015. If you haven’t voted yet, get to the polls. This election is so close, and every single vote matters,” Notley said on May 29, just a couple of hours before the polls closed.

Smith thanked Indigenous Chief Bill Morin of the Enoch Creen Nation, who said on election day that while “not perfect,” the UCP “has accomplished unprecedented things with Indigenous Nations in Ab.” Morin said Smith has “made her mark by committing to build [addiction] Recovery Centres on AB First Nations.”

“If you love this province and everything it stands for, then vote to ensure we keep moving forward!” said Smith.

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