Increasing ways for people to identify themselves at voting booths could help boost the number of Calgarians hitting the polls.
Currently, 12 types of identification are accepted at voting stations, but if a bylaw presented Monday at council is passed, there will be 35 acceptable forms of identification.
“Anything that makes it easier to vote, I think it’s great,” said Ald. Brian Pincott, adding that limiting barriers to voting is essential for higher turnouts.
Pincott also pointed out that having a system in place where the homeless can vote with a wider range of identification is important.
But one city political instructor doesn’t think the changes will have voters lining up at polling stations.
“It’s not going to have a huge impact on voter turnout. It’s a nice idea but I don’t think it’s going to lead to a big swing,” said Duane Bratt of Mount Royal University.
Improving voter turnout can be done other ways, said Bratt, including having enumerators.
“I’ve always viewed the enumerators as playing a socialization process by going door to door,” he said.
Extending the amount of time that the polls are open to vote is another way to increase numbers, he said.
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