Returning offices open

From left, additional assistant returning officer-extended service point Barb Philp and automation coordinator Richard Johns got to work in the Thunder Bay-Superior North Elections Canada office in County Fair Mall on Friday.

With the writ dropped on Wednesday, triggering the start of the federal election, at least one Thunder Bay area riding’s returning office has already had at least eight people cast their votes by Friday morning.

“We are setting up our office and we are open for business,” said Dale Mason, returning officer for Thunder Bay-Superior North. “I have to say when the writ was called, we were ready within a few minutes to accept employee applications and also to allow people to change their information in the voter database and actually to vote. We have ballots (Friday).”

The Thunder Bay-Superior North returning office is located in County Fair Mall and Mason said the riding has about 65,000 eligible voters and about 200 polling stations, including advanced polls and mobile polls that will be brought to smaller locations like senior homes.

Both the TBSN and Thunder Bay-Rainy River returning offices offer the ability to vote by special ballot.

“It’s sort of the hidden gem of our service,” said Mason.

Voters are given a blank ballot as candidate lists won’t be finalized until nominations close on Sept. 30 and write down the name of the candidate they want to vote for.

“This is available from now until six days before the election,” said Mason. “Very few people know about it.”

See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal.

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