Voters across Newfoundland and Labrador are heading to the polls today to choose the next provincial government and decide whether or not Liberal Leader Dwight Ball will get a second term as premier.
On the island, polls opened at 8 a.m. NT and will stay open until 8 p.m. NT
In Labrador, polls opened at 7:30 a.m. AT and will stay open until 7:30 p.m. AT.
Those looking to unseat Ball include the Progressive Conservatives under leader Ches Crosbie, who entered provincial politics slightly more than a year ago.
New Democrat Alison Coffin, who won her party’s leadership uncontested in March, and NL Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley, who formed his party just a month before the election was called, are also on the ballot for their first elections.
There are a number of districts where the races will be interesting to watch, including two popular independents — and former Liberals — running as incumbents.
As the polls opened, a number of voters turned out at St. Pius X Parish in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi.
Helen Walsh said it was tough to pick a candidate.
“They’re all much the same to me, and you don’t know who to believe,” she said.
“[I’m] kind of saying eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”
Kelly Davis voted in the district of Mount Scio. She said she was “not impressed” with Ball’s mid-April election call and felt it was unfair to both voters and candidates.
“It just feels kind of sneaky to me, to be honest. I’m usually very optimistic and I’m a concerned citizen. This time I just feel apathetic and under-informed about the election,” she said.
“I feel a bit duped, you know? I just feel like it was sprung [on voters].”
Davis said the election came so quickly that she wasn’t able to get to know her candidates or study the platforms.
“I feel like I’m kind of going in and voting quite blindly.”
Back in the November 2015 election, the total number of votes cast was 200,834 with a voter turnout of 55.3 per cent.
Elections Newfoundland and Labrador opened polling stations at 8 a.m. NT, giving people 12 hours to mark their ballots.
CBC Newfoundland and Labrador will have live coverage on all platforms tonight.
Online streaming on Facebook will start at 7 p.m. NT.