Advance polls for the Nov. 13 Olympic vote closed Wednesday at 8 p.m., and new numbers from the city show early voting eclipsed numbers from the 2013 election but were still behind advance ballots cast in the 2017 vote.
A 10-per-cent premium is expensive. I think the value in the policy, as the city sees it, is managing the uncertainty. They can budget the upfront premium cost better than the uncertain cost down the road. The reality is when youre talking about this size of project and this type of time frame, its unlikely youll get the costs right, she said.
Advance polls for the Olympic plebiscite were only open Tuesday and Wednesday, but the city’s numbers show a total of 54,442 people cast votes on whether to pursue a bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
But advance voting numbers for the Olympic vote were still well below totals in the 2017 Calgary municipal election, with 74,965 Calgarians casting early ballots, the city said.
A total of 18 advance vote locations were set up across Calgary for the plebiscite, while the city had 26 locations for the 2017 municipal election.
“[It] really is 50 per cent plus one, that is how it plays out, that is what the feds and provincial governments have suggested they are looking at, but I would like to see a strong mandate either way, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.
The non-binding Olympic vote asks Calgarians whether they are for or against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Earlier this week, the city unveiled electronic tabulator machines to tally the plebiscite results.
An Olympic Plebiscite Primer
But some early voters reported problems with the machines, noting that ballots were being rejected, which kept lineups of people waiting to cast their votes.
Calgarians dont want to host Olympics, according to poll
Those who will be away from Calgary on plebiscite day, as well as those who will be prevented from voting in person due to a physical incapacity, can request a mail-in ballot online, by calling 403-476-4100, by faxing 403-476-4101, or by visiting the Elections and Census Office at 1103 55th Ave. N.E.
Requests for mail-in ballots must be received by noon on Nov. 13. Completed mail-in ballot packages must be received by the Elections and Census Office by 4 p.m. that day.
The contracts also state that the host city, along with each country’s National Olympic Committee and organizing committee, are responsible to help ensure security and “shall take further measures (such as the deployment of relevant authorities responsible for safety, security, law enforcement and private security contractors) to complement those implemented by Host Country Authorities.”
Voters must provide authorized identification at the voting station, such as an Alberta driver’s licence or an Alberta Identification Card that confirms their name and current residential address.
For more information on where to vote and what identification you will need to cast a ballot, visit vote2018.calgary.ca.
Strong turnout on second day of advanced voting in Olympic plebiscite
Calgary council will not pursue the Olympics at any cost even if a plebiscite shows public support for the Games, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Wednesday.
Calgary Olympic bid could end even if city votes in favour of hosting, says Mayor
"At some point after the plebiscite, and I don't know exactly when, council will then vote on whether to continue or suspend. So if there's a no vote, I imagine that council will vote to stop the work. If there's a yes vote, that doesn't necessarily mean yes at all costs," he said.
"It allows the work to continue but council still reserves the right, if there's not a good deal there or it doesn't work for the City of Calgary, to pull out of the process."
“So never mind that security is the big cost, and the big one that Calgarians worry about the most . . . in terms of overruns, but there’s all sorts of other guarantees around ticket sales, all of those other things that we haven’t put in place.
He said the metric for a decision will be 50 per cent plus one, but that he would prefer a stronger mandate in either direction.
Not sure which way to vote in the Olympic plebiscite? Watch CBC Calgarys town hall
The non-binding plebiscite is on Nov. 13, but advance voting started Tuesday and continued on Wednesday.
Coun. Woolley stays on as Olympic chair, but thinks deal is half-baked
There were long lines at some polling stations on Tuesday. According to the city, 28,923 Calgarians cast a ballot in person and another 7,738 voted through mail-in ballots.
I dont think Ill ever get over this in my career as a councillor. Sometimes I even want to take a shower because Im ashamed. Im ashamed of some things that were said on this council. Im ashamed of some things that are said in the paper, and Im going to point one out because I just cant let it go, and its a fact. And Im going to read it, because it was in the paper. So of course its true if its written in the paper, right? Thank you. So:
Scaled back Calgary 2026 Olympics security plan predicted to go over budget
On Wednesday, another 84 mail-in ballots were received and 25,435 voted in person, bringing the total number of advance ballots cast to 54,442.
Have your say: Should Calgary host the 2026 Olympics?
Nenshi said he's "super happy" with the high turnout, pointing to low turnout as the worst possible outcome for the plebiscite.
Canmore supports Olympics – Canada News
Asked about a CBC Calgary poll that shows a majority don't support a bid, the mayor remained optimistic.
"It's a great pollster, Janet Brown; it's a very small sample size, just 200 people in Calgary," he said, although the actual number was 243.
The poll suggests things have started to improve for the Yes side, however, since a funding agreement was negotiated and presented to the public on Oct. 30. Support has climbed from a low of 26 per cent prior to the announcement to 39 per cent after.
"There's lots of polling going on and I've certainly seen polls that are much, much closer."
When asked who would be responsible for any cost overruns tied to the Games, the mayor said the city is working out details on the bid and the proposed funding agreement with other levels of government.
LIVE EVENT: CBC Calgary Olympic Games Plebiscite Town HallIf you live in Calgary, find out what you need to know before you cast your vote in the Nov. 13 plebiscite by tuning in to the CBC Calgary Olympic Games Plebiscite Town Hall.
If Calgary votes no in the 2026 Olympic plebiscite, whats next?
Featuring a knowledgeable panel and hosted by the Calgary Eyeopener's David Gray, we will hear from both sides and take questions from the audience. Panellists include:
It'll take place at Calgary's new Central Library (800 3rd St. S.E.) on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Doors open at 6 p.m., with rush seating available at 6:15 p.m. All of the reserved tickets have been claimed.
It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.