Sask polls open: Voters required to mask up

·2 min read
Voters started casting ballots at the Regina-Lewvan polling station early this morning in the 2021 federal election. (Jessie Anton/CBC - image credit)
Voters started casting ballots at the Regina-Lewvan polling station early this morning in the 2021 federal election. (Jessie Anton/CBC - image credit)

Saskatchewan residents are heading to the polls today with voter cards and masks in hand, as they cast their ballots in the federal election, during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People need to mask up to cast their ballots, after the Saskatchewan government once again mandated masking in all public indoor spaces on Friday. Elections Canada had previously said it would enforce local rules.

Asif Hussain, one of the hundreds of thousands of people expected to vote in the province, said he felt safe casting his ballot this morning at the Regina-Lewvan polling station.

"It's nice and clean," he said, adding that people were social distancing.

Casting ballots

Brett Huber also showed up early to cast his ballot at the polling station.

He's hoping the western provinces gain more representation in Ottawa ... through a change in government.

"I want to see us bounce back from a poor economic period and start to thrive again," Huber said, after casting his ballot.

"Honestly, if nothing changes it's obviously just a waste of time," he said.

Bryan Eneas/CBC Saskatchewan
Bryan Eneas/CBC Saskatchewan

The previous federal election, held nearly two years ago, saw the Conservative Party sweep all 14 Saskatchewan seats. The main tension point in how this year's election will play out in Saskatchewan is whether the Conservatives will retain their monopoly, or if gaps in the armour will appear.

Regina-Wascana, Regina-Lewvan, Saskatoon West and Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River are the ridings that look too close to call in right now, according to a pollster and a political science professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

Three of those ridings had the province's closest races in 2019:

  • In Saskatoon West, Conservative Brad Redekopp won 48 per cent of the vote, defeating NDP incumbent Sherri Benson, who got 40 per cent, by less than 2,900 votes.

  • In Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Conservative Gary Vidal took 42 per cent of the vote, beating NDP incumbent Georgina Jolibois (28 per cent) and Liberal candidate Tammy Cook-Searson (26 per cent).

  • In Regina-Wascana, Conservative Michael Kram took 49 per cent of the vote, winning by a more than 7,000-vote margin over veteran Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, who had 34 per cent.

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