More than two million Canadians turned out to cast ballots in advance polls over the holiday weekend, according to Elections Canada's preliminary estimate, a 34 per cent increase from 2008.
Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand said 2,056,001 ballots were cast during the three days of advance polls in a "higher than expected turnout," compared to 1,528,780 advance ballots cast three years ago.
More than 676,000 Canadians voted on Friday and more than 823,000 on Monday — the two busiest days of advance voting ever, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
And the final tally could be even higher. Mayrand said the overall figure is a preliminary estimate, and some polls may not have reported yet.
There were multiple reports over the holiday weekend of long lines and delays at several advance polling stations across the country, as staff struggled to accommodate the higher turnout.
In his statement, Mayrand did not address those reports, but thanked voters "for their patience" and field staff for their "responsiveness."
More than 826,000 Ontarians voted over the weekend, up from 603,578 in 2008, while in Quebec, advanced poll voting jumped from 448,466 to 565,897, according to the elections agency's estimates.
Only 58.8 per cent of registered voters actually cast ballots during the 2008 federal election — the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history.