The advance polls for the coming federal election drew an unprecedented and apparently unanticipated level of interest.
According to advance poll voter turnout estimates provided by Elections Canada, 3.6 million voters cast a ballot in the four days of advance polls.
This constitutes a 71 per cent increase in interest over the 2011 advance polls. The busiest polling days were Friday, Oct. 9, and Monday, Oct. 12, which drew 850,000 and 1.2 million voters respectively. In the Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo, 14,224 advance poll voters cast a ballot, compared to 6,505 in 2011.
Even accounting for the extra day, advance poll voter turnout was up 64 per cent over 2011.
“There was a constant line-up of about 20 people and the guy overseeing it said they processed voters in just under two minutes each,” said TRU alum Quinn Miller, who cast his ballot over the weekend.
By some accounts, the advance polling stations around Kamloops were not prepared for the turnout.
TRU student Mick Sandy said that he experienced a 20-minute delay at a Sahali polling station.
“There was only one booth and they seemed fairly understaffed,” Sandy said.
According to both Miller and Sandy, there was a mixture of young and old voters at the advance polls, and none of them displayed any particular political allegiance at the polling station.
The final chance for Canadians to cast their ballots will be on Election Day, Monday, Oct. 19.