Saskatchewan’s Chief Electoral Officer is hoping to change the date of the province’s municipal elections.
Dr. Michael Boda says having the municipal, and provincial election within weeks of each other left many voters confused on who, and what, to vote for.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says getting voters to come to the polls in November is tough enough without confusing them with multiple elections.
“I know, municipally, getting people out to vote in the month of November is difficult,” said Masters. “Partly because of the weather, and partly just because of that close proximity to the provincial election. So, yeah I think there’s some merit in terms of moving the date.”
She adds the 2020 municipal election was increasingly difficult due to the blizzard that hit on voting day.
Boda is proposing the election be held in May 2024, instead of October 2024, something that Masters isn’t quite set on.
“I’m not opposed to moving it six months out, I’m not opposed to that at all,” said Masters. “I’m not opposed to that, but is there a mid-September date that might work as well, or something like that, I’m not sure.”
While Masters won the 2020 election, she says it is concerning that 21 percent of voters said they were confused on voting day.
She says the proximity of everything made it harder for candidates to get their message out.
“It’s incumbent upon any candidate to get out and meet the people and really get them that message, but it did not help that they were so close together,” said Masters. “Frankly, I think with the saturation of the airwaves with the United States election as well, and people being inundated with campaign messaging, even with one that didn’t apply to us, lots of folks like to tune it out because it can be overwhelming.”
As it stands, the next provincial election is schedule for October 28th, 2024.