Heavy traffic continued at advance polling stations across Canada throughout the Thanksgiving long weekend. Long lines and waits at advance polling stations in Vancouver returned on Saturday and Sunday, with reports of up to two hour waits at some locations.
According to Elections Canada, approximately 780,000 people cast their ballots at advance polling stations on Saturday, bringing the total number of ballots to about 1.6 million over the first two days of advance voting. Over 850,000 people also voted on Friday, the first day of the federal election’s advance voting period.
The strong numbers to date are 34 per cent higher than the first two days of the advance voting period during the last federal election held in spring 2011. Friday’s numbers alone were a 26 per cent increase from the first day of advance polls in 2011 and a 90 per cent increase for the same day in the fall 2008 federal election.
It remains to be seen whether these high numbers could mean a higher overall turnout for this year’s federal election. In contrast, 2.1 million Canadians voted in the three-day advance voting period in 2011 – about 14 per cent of all the votes counted in that election.
Advance polling stations will close today – at the end of Thanksgiving Monday’s operating hours – from noon to 8 p.m.
Alternatively, voters will also have the option of voting at their local Elections Canada office by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13 or at their designated polling station during the general election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, October 19.
For more information on where to vote in your electoral district, find out at Elections Canada’s Voter Information Service.