Nova Scotia

Canada Election 2015: Last day for advance polls

Monday was the final day of advance polling in the federal election, and thousands of people across the country turned out to vote.

Long lineups at polls continued into Monday

Monday marks the last day Canadians can vote in advance polls. (CBC)

Monday was the final day of advance polling in the federal election, and thousands of people across the country turned out to vote.

Around 2.4 million Canadians have voted so far in advance polls, representing a 16 per cent increase over the three advance polling days in the 2011 federal election, says Elections Canada.

The agency estimates that 850,000 voters cast ballots on Friday, 780,000 people voted on Saturday and 767,000 on Sunday, an increase of nearly 400,000 votes compared with 2011. 

Many voters in Nova Scotia complained of long lineups on Friday and Saturday.

University student Marie O'Leary voted on Monday. (CBC)

The long lineups continued into Sunday at some polls. At a poll on Almon Street in Halifax, some voters waited up to three hours to vote.

"I've been here three times now and the lines have gotten worse and worse and worse," said Keith Louden.

Others chose not to cast their ballots because of the long line, but their spirits weren't dampened.

"I was just saying a few moments ago, this crowd is largely young people and I find that a very good sign. I'm very happy to see that. I'm not discouraged at all. I'll be back. I'll make sure I vote before election day," said Lois McVannel.

'Once you get in line, you might as well stay'

University student Marie O'Leary was one of those young people in line. She is home from university for the holidays and cast her vote because she thought it would be a quick process. She didn't mind the three-hour wait she encountered.

"Once you get in line, you might as well stay," she said.

Françoise Enguehard, the regional media advisor for Elections Canada in Atlantic Canada, said staff have done some reorganizing to fix the long waits. 

"We had prepared for large numbers of people to show up on the first advance poll day, because that's always the case in past elections. On the first day of an election, everybody's eager to get their vote in. But obviously the demand exceeded what we had envisaged," said Enguehard.

"Some reorganization was done in order to avoid lineups. Some poll clerks were added also to some sites where there had been a lot of volume. So everything went extremely well [Sunday]." 

Enguehard says Elections Canada will not be able to give a local breakdown of how many people have voted in this province until later this week. But she warned attendance at the advanced poll does not predict the final voter turnout.


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