04/21/2015 01:39 EDT | Updated 07/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Voting underway in byelection for new Manitoba member of legislature in The Pas

THE PAS, Man. - Voting is underway for a new member of the legislature in the northern Manitoba riding of The Pas.

Voters in the vast riding have been without a representative for almost a year since New Democrat Frank Whitehead resigned last May for health reasons.

The Pas has generally been considered a safe seat for the NDP government — Whitehead won 73 per cent of the vote in the last provincial election.

But the NDP's popularity has sunk in opinion polls since the government raised the provincial sales tax in 2013, prompting an internal party revolt.

There was a hiccup at two assisted-living homes, where the votes were set aside and residents were given a chance to vote again.

Elections Manitoba says there was an administrative error — the homes were treated as institutional ballot stations when in reality residents were supposed to go to the regular polling station in their area.

Running for the NDP is Amanda Lathlin, a former band councillor and daughter of Oscar Lathlin, who represented The Pas between 1990 and 2008.

Jacob Nasekapow, a former band councillor in Moose Lake, is running for the Progressive Conservatives while Inez Vystrcil-Spence, who has worked for the group that represents northern First Nations, is running for the Liberals.