Elections Canada is monitoring flooding across the Prairies and is willing to move polling locations if voters are unable to make it to the ballot box.

Floodwaters are still rising in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Almost 700 people on First Nations reserves in Manitoba and 440 in Saskatchewan have been forced to flee their homes by the worst flooding to hit the Prairies in 150 years.

The floods are coming just as voters across Canada prepare to head to the polls for the advance voting days on April 22, 23 and 25.

Leanne Nyirfa, an Elections Canada spokeswoman in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, said there have been no changes made to polling-station locations yet in the flood-affected areas.

"You never know what the weather is going to do. It is an hour-by-hour, day-by-day situation," Nyirfa said.

"As soon as we hear we need to do any changes to polling sites, we will let people know as quickly as we can."

The Elections Canada official said the returning officers are watching the situation closely in their communities and are responsible for identifying alternative polling stations if they are needed.

Nyirfa said anyone who is concerned about being able to vote in the advance polls or on May 2 can always arrange to cast a special ballot.

Advance polling dates won't be added

Elections Canada was also defending the timing of advance polls for the federal election, saying the timing is determined by law, despite this election's dates coinciding with religious observance for the Christian and Jewish communities.

Elections Canada has three days set aside for advance polling: April 22, 23 and 25.

However, those dates fall on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Monday, which include a religious and a statutory holiday. As well, Passover runs April 19 to 25.

"We recognize that many electors will find the advance polling dates inappropriate or inconvenient, and we fully understand their concerns," Marc Mayrand, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, said in a statement.

"It is important that electors choose the voting option that best suits their individual circumstances," he said.

At the same time, however, Elections Canada said the advance voting dates will not change ahead of the actual polling day, May 2.

"The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada does not determine the dates for advance polls," Elections Canada said, noting that the Elections Act has set the timing of the three advance poll dates "on the 10th, 9th and 7th days before election day."

The law "is clear that these can be the only dates for advance polls," the agency said. 

Other options

People unable to vote at advance polls can either wait to vote on election day or they can vote any time beforehand by a special ballot, Elections Canada said.

A special ballot can be obtained either by submitting an application to a local Elections Canada office or to Elections Canada in Ottawa by 6 p.m. April 26.

This week, Brad Lavigne, the NDP's national campaign director this week urged that an extra day be added to advance polling dates, so people will not miss out on a chance to cast a ballot over the coming long weekend.

A Liberal spokesman said this week that party would also support an attempt to add an extra day of advance voting.

And Guy Giorno, the national campaign chairman for the Conservative Party, said on Twitter that the Tories "support extra advance poll."