Prince Albert’s returning officer for this year’s civic election expects advance poll numbers to double from 2016.

According to Sherry Person 1,600 people cast their ballots in the first half of advance polls already. The elections office chose to just have drive-thru advance voting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last election, 1,427 people voted in total for advance polls in Prince Albert.

“I’m happy that we can offer this and I’m happy that the residents are taking the opportunity,” Person said.

She said most wait-times have ranged from 30 to about 90 minutes. However, Person said people seem to be making the most of the wait times.

"We've seen some people come by, they've got their coffee in their vehicle and they're taking the time to just wait in their car, listen to music, play games on their phones,” she said.

A number of voters on Monday said the drive-thru process was efficient. They felt it was ideal for people with mobility issues, who can’t stand in line for long periods of time.

They also said they felt safe voting during the pandemic.

"Having advance polls for civic elections, even provincial, was a Godsend this year because of COVID,” Ron Schwab said.

“I think it’s about time that they have gone this way,” he added about the drive-thru process.

Person said in future elections, Prince Albert will likely have both the usual advance polls and a drive-thru option.

Advance polls in Prince Albert took place on Monday from 3 to 7 p.m., and will continue on Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Election day is Nov. 9.