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Voting 'flash mob' creates issues at overwhelmed Guelph polling stations

Voting extended past 9:30 p.m. at Rickson Ridge Public School and Cutten Fields after hundreds of students arrive to register and vote
2019 10 21 GT - Election Night 2019 Rickson Ridge Polling Station - TB 01
People line up to vote at Rickson Ridge Public School Monday, one of at least two locations where people were allowed to vote after 9:30 p.m. Troy Bridgeman for GuelphToday

A worker shortage and a voter "flash mob"  is being blamed for election night issues at a south Guelph polling station where voting was delayed and some were allowed to vote after the 9:30 p.m. deadline.

Dozens of people were waiting to vote as the polls closed and were allowed to wait and vote after they had.

Elections Canada confirmed that poll #114 in Guelph, at Cutten Fields golf course, was overwhelmed with voters Monday night and that the last person in line at 9:30 would be the last person to vote.

"We can confirm a worker shortage at poll #114  in Guelph. This is due to an unexpected and overwhelming flood of University of Guelph students who all need to need to be registered at the poll. Having to register that many electors is causing delays," Elections Canada spokesperson Natasha Gauthier told Guelph Today.

"The Returning Officer has done everything she can to bring in additional workers to deal with the influx, which appears to have been organized as a flashmob-type activity, although we can’t confirm. The last person in line at 9:30 pm is where the line will end for voting; voting will continue until all electors in that line have voted. 

Sam Rodriquez, a University of Guelph vet student, said a bunch of students showed up late but that "there was nothing organized" in regards to a flash-mob.

Other students who arrived with him that declined to give their names said the same thing.