With the election just a few days away, it’s unclear if the popularity of advanced voting means voter turnout will be higher for 43rd federal election.
What we do know is that Elections Canada confirmed an increase of 29 per cent in advanced voting, up from the 2015 general election. And while the regional numbers have not been released yet, many Oak Bay residents cast an early ballot.
Dozens took to social media over the Thanksgiving weekend to share their experience.
Paul McKibben posted that he waited well over 30 minutes at Margaret Jenkins Elementary between 3 and 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon. Emma Davidson wrote that she waited 40 minutes at Margaret Jenkins on the same day.
Pat Battles was at Monterey by 12:15 p.m. on Saturday but despite a 30-minute predicted wait, she ended up waiting 1.5 hours.
“Some people left the line,” Battles wrote.
If anything, the weekend waits should serve as a reminder for those voting on Monday (Oct. 21), said Elections Canada spokesperson for the region, Andrea Marantz.
“There are peak times at polling sites just like there are at many other places that offer services,” she said. “We know that the busiest times on election day will be early in the morning, when people stop by on the way to work; at lunchtime; and after the workday is over. So we encourage anyone who can vote outside of those times, to please do so.”
In the meantime, Elections Canada is still processing the advanced voting numbers from each polling station.
Jill Ostick waited an hour at Monterey. Nancy Kostyrka did too, noting it was a real lesson for in how attitude is everything, she posted.
“There were people loudly complaining in outrage to all and sundry,” Kostyrka wrote. “There were people patiently moving along and taking the opportunity to chat with strangers pleasantly.”
Kostyrka was most impressed by an older lady in a wheelchair with a service dog who declined an invitation to skip to the head of the line and who waited her turn with good humour.
“I took my hour wait as a lesson from the universe in patience and gratitude and mindfulness that I was voting in a free election when so many in the world could not.”