05/29/2017 17:53 EDT | Updated 06/01/2017 12:28 EDT

Close election dates for provincial, municipal votes causing problems

REGINA — The fall of 2020 is set to be a busy one for Saskatchewan voters, with the next provincial and municipal elections scheduled just five days apart.

Elections Saskatchewan says the situation is problematic, and wants to change the date one of the elections.

Spokesman Tim Kydd says it could be confusing for voters and could also create voter fatigue, given the federal election is set for 2019.

The current schedule would also create administration problems, an increase in election costs and issues finding enough workers for both elections.

The chief electoral officer is proposing to move either the provincial or municipal elections back six months to the spring of 2020, or forward six months to the spring of 2021.

Elections Saskatchewan’s preference is moving the provincial election to the spring of 2021.

“(This) would spread (the elections) out, and it gets us closer to where you would eventually like to get to, which is one election every year, preferably in the fall, whether it's federal, provincial or municipal,” said Kydd.

If the next provincial election is delayed by five months to Elections Saskatchewan’s preferred date, the Saskatchewan Party government would be in power for five years since the last election.

Both the provincial government and the opposition are opposed to this.

“What people ask me is, ‘when is the next election?’ because they think it can't come soon enough,” said NDP MLA Warren McCall.

“So, if they're going to look at timing of the election, we'd rather see it moved forward, not anywhere near back.”

“We went to two four-and-a-half year terms, so that it moved us one year (from) the federal election,” said deputy premier Don Morgan.

“We sort of got to the point where we want to be. To move it another half year, then we'd be in an odd sync again.”

The deputy premier said the government hopes to speak to the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, and the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, in the next few months, before making a final decision on the change.

(CTV Regina)