As voters across Ontario cast their ballots today, delays at some polling stations have forced Elections Ontario to extend voting hours at 10 polls in three different ridings. There are more than 24,000 polls province-wide.
Elections Ontario issued a statement Thursday afternoon, saying voting hours will be extended owing to "minor delays" at the polls mentioned below in the following three ridings:
- Dufferin Caledon — At Margaret Dunn Library (Polls #123, #124, #125, #126, #127), voting extended by 30 minutes to 9:30 p.m. ET.
- Trinity-Spadina — At Fly Condominium (Poll #578), Lumiere Condominium on Bay (Poll #556) and Leonardo Court (Poll #414), voting extended by 30 minutes to 9:30 p.m. ET.
- Kenora-Rainy River — At the band office of Mitaanjigaming First Nation (Poll #155) and the band office of Naicatchewenin First Nation (Poll #154) voting extended by one hour to 9 p.m. CT (10 p.m. ET). The delays in Kenora-Rainy River are a result of flooded roads.
Voting results in these three ridings will not be reported until all the polls close. Delays in the affected ridings will not delay the release of the rest of the province-wide results at 9 p.m. ET.
The delays come as voters cast their ballots to determine whether the minority Liberals will continue to govern after 10 years in power.
- Ontario election: Where do I vote?
- Where to get election night results
- 12 key ridings to watch
- Ontario riding map
Where the leaders will be tonight
Kathleen Wynne, Liberal
- Sheraton Centre Toronto, Centre and West Ballrooms.
Tim Hudak, Progressive Conservative
- Mountain Ridge Community Centre, Grimsby.
Andrea Horwath, New Democrat
- Grand Olympian, Stoney Creek.
Elections Ontario also said it was going after a few voters who posted photos of their ballots on social media. A spokesperson said the agency has contacted a handful of people to ask them to take the images down, but hasn't decided on possible further action. It is a violation of Ontario's Election Act to use a communication device in a polling place or to display one's ballot after marking it.
This election — tipped as a tight two-way race between Kathleen Wynne's Liberals and the Progressive Conservative Party led by Tim Hudak — was triggered when NDP Leader Andrea Horwath refused to support the minority Liberals' budget. The snap election will cost the province about $90 million.
The province's economic recovery, job creation and the elimination of the $12.5-billion deficit dominated the 40-day campaign, which in the final stages was marred by nasty personal attacks and accusations of voter manipulation.
There are questions about voter turnout in this election. It has fallen steadily in recent elections dipping to an all-time low of 48 per cent in 2011.
Wynne started her day with her usual early morning run in Toronto. As she jogged past the cameras she asked "Is everyone voting?" She cast her ballot just after 11 a.m. in her riding of Don Valley West, and implored voters to get out to the polls today.
"It's such an important process, such an important election," she said.
Party leaders urge voters to cast their ballots
Leaders of all three major parties took to Twitter on Thursday, encouraging eligible voters to head to the polls
Hudak made one final pitch for voter support today at Pearson International Airport, standing in front of a plane to say he'd help create jobs in Ontario so young people don't have to fly to Alberta for work.
Horwath rallied some NDP volunteers Thursday morning in Toronto's Kensington Market, saying the length of the campaign was a challenge but she believes New Democrats have shown they're ready to lead.
There are 107 ridings at stake in Ontario's election. In the last legislative session the Liberals held 48 seats, the PCs had 37 and the NDP held 21, while one seat was vacant.
Polls close at 9 p.m. ET.
Click here for more information about where you can vote and what information you'll need at the polling booth.