Voting

People who cast ballots at some advance polls between Friday and Monday had long waits in some locations, Elections Canada says.

Voters casting ballots during four days of advance polling experienced "long waits" before being able to make their mark, Elections Canada acknowledges.

And similar delays are likely on general voting day, next Monday, the agency says.

"Most advance polls experienced rush times and, at some, the electors had long waits," Elections Canada spokeswoman Andrea Marantz said in an email.

"We do expect that there will be wait times on Election Day," Marantz said. "We'd encourage electors to try and come during off-peak periods."

The busiest times at polls are always first thing in the morning, at lunch, right after work, and in the last hour before closing, Marantz said.

Last Friday, the first day of advance polling, about 1.3 million Canadians voted, Elections Canada says. That was a slight increase over turnout on the first day of advance polls before the 2019 federal election.

Two years ago, a record 4.7 million votes were cast at advance polls, more than one-quarter of all votes that were cast in the election.

Through the past four days of advance polling, various media reported wait times for voters of up to 90 minutes in Prince George, more than 45 minutes in Richmond, and more than two hours in Kitchener, Ont.

Other Elections Canada spokespeople have said the delays were due to a variety of factors, such as COVID-19 protocols that reduced the number of staff that could work at polling places, a shortage of workers, and an inability to use schools as polling places for this election because of the pandemic.

"Thanks for your patience over the first days of advance polls," Elections Canada said in a Sunday tweet.

In Peachland on Monday mid-morning, arriving voters were told the wait time would be 20 minutes though only seven people were lined up outside the community hall being used as a polling station.

Voters who arrived at 7 p.m. waited about half an hour to cast a ballot.