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City of Calgary already tweaking drive-thru voting station after long lines

WATCH: Officials with Elections Calgary are pleased with Calgary’s first drive-up advance voting station Wednesday. David Boushy reports.

The line of vehicles waiting to vote in the City of Calgary’s new drive-thru polling station stretched all the way through the McMahon Stadium parking lot on Wednesday.

Advanced polling kicked off in the morning, allowing citizens to vote without having to unbuckle. Voter Pete Montana said he waited more than an hour.

“It’s too long. An hour and a quarter and no organization.”

Cyril Mullane said usually advanced polling lines are about five minutes long. Despite the wait, he thinks the new polling station just needs tweaks.

“I think it’s an interesting experiment that will continue, I think it should continue,” Mullane said.

READ MORE: Calgary to open drive-thru voting station for municipal election

Paul Denys, the City of Calgary’s manager of Elections and Census, says they’re already making changes based on the big demand.

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“When we started, we had three operating and we’ve since gone to… five lanes currently, with each lane serving two vehicles at a time.”

Denys says they’re also working at making the process faster, while making sure they determine every person’s eligibility to vote.

“We can’t be cutting corners,” he said. “We will have to go through the same process, we have to check everyone’s ID, we have to complete a voter register card.”

Officials said during the first hours of advanced polling, turnout was already up about 20 per cent over the first day in the 2013 election.

That year, only about 40 per cent of eligible voters came out to cast a ballot.