What you need to know about the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection

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Your questions about mail-in ballots, voting lists and election timing answered.

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Saskatchewan’s government has set a date for a byelection brawl in Saskatoon Meewasin.

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Here’s what voters need to know before they head to the polls on Sept. 26.

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WHY IT’S HAPPENING:

Incumbent MLA Ryan Meili announced earlier this summer he would resign his seat shortly after stepping down from the leadership of the Sask. NDP.

Under the law, Premier Scott Moe had six months to announce a byelection to fill Meili’s seat. He announced the election would take place on Sept. 26 so it could be filled before MLAs return to Regina for the legislature’s next sitting.

HOW TO VOTE

Elections Saskatchewan says voters have until Sept. 15 to get on the official voting list, though they can also register in-person at the polls on the day of the election.

Residents can also cast a ballot in advance by applying for a mail-in ballot online before Sept. 15. Those ballots must be mailed by 8 p.m. on Sept. 26.

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Voters stand in line for the advanced polls for the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection in Saskatoon, SK on Friday, February 24, 2017.
Voters stand in line for the advanced polls for the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection in Saskatoon, SK on Friday, February 24, 2017. Photo by Kayle Neis /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Voters can also take advantage of advance polls from Sept. 20 to 24, which will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Locations are expected to be announced closer to the election date.

Wearing masks is not mandatory in polling stations but will be mandatory for election workers. Elections Saskatchewan says it will also provide single-use pencils, hand sanitizer and allow for physical distancing at voting locations as a public health precaution.

THE CANDIDATES SO FAR

Kim Groff is running for the Saskatchewan Party. Nathaniel Teed is running for the NDP. Saskatchewan Liberal Party Leader Jeff Walters is running for his party. Mark Friesen is running for the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan and Jacklin Andrews is running for the Saskatchewan Green Party.

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Other potential nominees have until Sept. 10 to get their papers in.

WHY THE RACE MATTERS 

The byelection won’t change the balance of power in the legislature, which is dominated by the incumbent Saskatchewan Party.

The Saskatchewan NDP is hoping a win in Meewasin, historically a swing riding, will build momentum for their new leader, Carla Beck. Similarly, a loss could set the party back.

Walters hopes to win his party’s first seat since 2003.

Meewasin has been held by both the Sask. Party and the NDP in the past decade. The constituency contains the upscale neighbourhood of River Heights, Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s main campus and City Hospital.

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