Elections Canada apologizes for advance voting lineups
Elections Canada is apologizing after many people complained about long waits to cast ballots at advance polling stations on the weekend.
Marie-France Kenny, the regional advisor for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, said turnout has been much higher than expected.
"We did have [more staff] on standby but just the sheer volume of people did slow down the process and we apologize for that. We thank electors for their patience," she said.
On Saturday, the second day of the advance polls, 780,000 people voted across the country. That's a 34 per cent increase from the first two days of advance polls at the 2011 federal election.
Elections Canada estimates another 767,000 people voted on Sunday. This brings the total for the first three days of advance polls to 2.4 million.
That figure represents a 16 per cent increase over the 2,077,000 votes recorded oduring the three advance polling days at the 2011 federal general election.
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Kenny believes the long weekend might have contributed to the increased volume but says a different date couldn't have been selected.
"The date is mandated by law, so many days before the actual polls there needs to be advance polls — and we did add an extra day this year. There's usually three days of advance polls and this year there are four."
Advance polling stations closed Monday at 8 p.m. People may still vote by mail or in person at their local Elections Canada office, but they must apply to do so no later than 6 p.m. on Oct. 13.
After that, voters will have to wait until election day on Oct. 19.
Roof blown off
The hall was serving as the advance polling station. Voters are now asked to go to the Elie Community Centre, across the street at 23 Main St.