Elections Canada saw an uptick of voters heading to the advance polls this election as some 5,780,000 electors cast their ballots during the four-day window.
According to Elections Canada, this represents an 18.46 per cent increase from the 4,879,312 electors who voted in advance in the 2019 general election.
Locally, the preliminary number of votes cast at the advance polls was 21,714.
This represents an increase of 4,527 votes cast compared to the 2019 general election, which saw 17,187 votes cast during the advance pools in the Guelph electoral district. An increase of 21 per cent.
A spokesperson from Elections Canada said the use of advance polls has been steadily increasing with each election, however, Elections Canada has not been able to pinpoint the exact reason why.
“It really would be guesswork on my part, and certainly on Elections Canada’s part," said Dugald Maudsley, Elections Canada regional media adviser for the Greater Toronto Area. "Really, the advance polls have been more popular each general election, and we can see that from the numbers."
He said the one factor he found personally was the convenience of having a four-day window open 12 hours a day to vote.
In 2011 the advance polls saw 2.1 million ballots cast, the 2015 election increased to 3.7 million and the 2019 election increased further to 4.8 million ballots cast over the 48-hour window.
Several Canadians opted to vote by mail this election.
With the deadline to apply to vote by special ballot now closed, a total of 914,324 voting kits were issued to electors living in Canada voting by mail or at an Elections Canada office from inside their riding.
To date, just under 500,000 ballots have been returned.
In Guelph, 4,097 voting kits were issued to voters living in Canada and voting from inside the Guelph electoral district and 572 kits were issued to voters outside the riding or living outside of Canada.
As of Tuesday night, 2,656 of these ballots have been returned.
“It’s really difficult to say why, in one sense with all the mail-in ballots that have gone out to people you might think fewer people would have voted at advance polls, but actually more did,” said Maudsley. “I think the bottom line is, it’s very difficult to know why exactly but convenience could be one of the key issues.”
If you applied to vote by special ballot before the cut-off date the deadline to complete and return those ballots is election day.
Monday’s election day offers local voters 43 polling locations open between 9:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Voters can find their polling stations on their voter cards which they received by mail or by visiting the Elections Canada website (elections.ca). You can also call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.