Barrie, Ont. –
The pandemic didn’t stop people from getting out and voting at the advance polls, with many local ridings reporting an increase in early turnout.
“Advanced polling has been very busy,” said Rejean Grenier, Elections Canada.
The Barrie-Innisfil riding saw roughly 6,000 more people cast their ballots over the weekend than in the advanced polling in 2019.
Four other local ridings also reported a significant jump in voter turnout from the last election, while Simcoe North saw a slight dip.
Some residents say they are using the next five days until election night to decide who will get their vote.
“It’s still up for debate,” said Barrie resident Darrien Larose.
A visiting politics professor with York University said these last remaining days are critical for candidates.
“The last few days are sort of the closing arguments, and so it does matter, particularly in an election that looks like the two biggest parties are very close to one another. Not just national, but within a lot of ridings,” explained Michael Johns, visiting politics professor at York University. “This will be when people make their minds up.”
Elections Canada said voters should expect longer than typical waits than in previous years because it only has about 78 per cent of the staff needed for election day.
“We can still run an election with that number of people, but lineups are going to be longer, and people are going to have to wait,” Grenier said.
Voters will head to the polls on Monday.