British Columbia

Advance polls: long lines repeated on Day 2 in B.C.

Waits at polling stations in B.C. continued on Day 2 of advance polls and some worry the line-ups could hurt voter turn-out.

Elections Canada reports significant increase in advance poll voting from 2011

Voters wait out in the rain to get into an advance polling station in Vancouver B.C. (CBC)

Waits across the country continued on Day 2 of advance polls as a record number of voters chose to cast their ballots early.

Some worry the line-ups could hurt voter turn-out.

Voter Barbara Wallace left her polling station in Vancouver claiming the line-up was too long. (CBC)

"I'm not prepared to stand and wait that long," said Barbara Wallace in Vancouver who left her polling station when she found out the wait would be an hour long.

"I'm frustrated, now I have to figure out a time to come back over the course of the next two days and it's not what I want to spend my long weekend doing, I have other priorities."

Across the country voters were met with long lines on Friday and Saturday for the first two days of advance polls.

In Vancouver — from the West End, to Yaletown and the Downtown Eastside — the wait was predominantly an hour long.

"I think for people who are voting for the first time or younger voters, they're not going to stand and wait in line for that long," said Wallace.

"It is disappointing that potentially some of these people won't come back," said Mark Kirby who was also trying to cast his vote. "Myself, I will, but I imagine a good percentage won't."

Elections Canada admits there have been delays at stations across the province, but says that people are sticking around to cast their votes.

On Friday an estimated 850,000 people across the country voted, which is a 26 per cent increase from the first day of advance polls in the 2011 election and 90 per cent more that the first day in 2008.

"It's impossible to tell how many people will show up," said Dorothy Sitek, who speaks for Elections Canada in B.C. "Voters come at their own convenience and election workers at the polls do their best to serve them."

Despite the big bump in voters at advance polls, Sitek says most Canadians who are committed to voting will do it on election day when more polling stations are available and line-ups, hopefully, will be less daunting than they have been so far.

Other voters in Vancouver are looking at busy polls as a positive, indicating that the long campaign has engaged citizens who want to participate.

Adam Smith isn't worried long line-ups at advance polls will deter people who want to vote from doing so. (CBC)

For voters like Adam Smith, enduring long lines at advance voting stations is just part of that perceived enthusiasm.

"It is early polling so I don't think you can expect much," he said. "You're not going to have a full-out staff ready for a whole onslaught of people coming to vote."

Still other voters, like Barbara Wallace, are asking Elections Canada to put on more staff for advance polls.

"You want to encourage people to take part, have a say, have a voice. if you can't get this bit right, where do you go from here?" she said. 

Advance polls run through Monday October 12.

with files from the CBC's Kiran Dhillon

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