(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

Greater Victoria polling stations are closed

Election officials report no issues so far

The polls are officially closed in the 43rd Canadian federal election.

Find all our ongoing election coverage here.

The rain isn’t keeping voters away from the polls in Greater Victoria.

Many residents are rushing to the polls to cast their ballot ahead of Canada’s 43rd federal election.

But so far, lines are moving smoothly.

“There was no line-up, it was fantastic,” said Barb Butler, who brought her Labradoodle Boon to vote in North Saanich. “I was expecting more people here because it’s a pretty important election. But I think a lot of people have already voted.”

David Tonken, central poll supervisor for the Deep Cove Elementary School polling station, estimated about 40 per cent of voters assigned to his polling station have already cast their ballots.

“Well, I think they were afraid of the crowds and wanted to avoid them,” said Tonken, when asked about the reason for the high turnout during early voting. “That was a mistake because the advanced polls were more crowded than here.”

READ MORE: Turnout steady at Saanich Peninsula polls

Tonken said some 20 people had lined up outside the doors by 7 a.m. Monday. This initial rush has given away to a steady trickle of voters, many of them parents on their way to work after dropping off their children.

For Tonken, the high number of advanced voters is a positive development. “If we had advanced polls with lots of people, it means we are not going to be as crowded and people are going to be happy as they come through.” It is also easier to protect the confidentiality of the vote, he added. “It’s a really good experience for them [voters],” he said. “They are in, they are out.”

Over at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, Vivian Klaiber, poll supervisor, said turnout has been steady since doors opened.

“There have been no issues and no line-ups,” she said.

READ MORE: Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

The number of people turning out to vote at advanced polls jumped 29 per cent from the 2015 general election. Elections Canada estimated 4.7 million people took part in advanced polls between Oct. 11 and 14.

In 2015, more than 3.6 million people took part in advanced polls.

During the 2015 federal election, 68.3 per cent of Canadians voted, the highest turnout since 1993. In British Columbia, voter turnout was slightly below the national average in 2015 at 68.2 per cent.

Polls are open until 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Polls now open in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Federal elections are not run in the same ways as provincial ones. Voters are not able to show up at just any polling station. Voting places are assigned by Elections Canada and the location of yours can be found on your voter information card. Alternatively, you can click here and plug in your address to find out what station to attend. Remember your photo identification. Bringing your voter information card helps speed up the process.

Black Press Media will be with you election day, bringing you live coverage of our local candidates as the results come in. Find all of our coverage on your local community newspaper’s website or click here.


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