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Advance voting draws big crowds in Calgary’s 2017 municipal election

Click to play video 'Advance voting draws big crowds in Calgary’s 2017 municipal election' Advance voting draws big crowds in Calgary’s 2017 municipal election
WATCH: With a heated battle for mayor, Calgary seems headed for a big turnout for the 2017 municipal election. Gil Tucker looks at the numbers and what that means for candidates.

With advance polls set to close this week, a staggering number of Calgarians have already cast their ballot in the 2017 municipal election.

FULL COVERAGE: Calgary election 2017

In the first six days of advance voting, 44,268 people made their mark — an increase of 86.6 per cent from the total votes cast in 2010’s advance polls, and a 97.5 per cent increase from 2013.

“The magnitude of the turnout is definitely somewhat surprising, although it is a pleasant surprise,” said Paul Denys, manger of census and elections for the City of Calgary. “We were definitely shooting for increasing the advance-vote turnout and the numbers we are seeing so far have definitely been a very welcomed sight.”

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

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Advance voting began on Oct. 4 at traditional polling stations, the vote bus and using the new drive-thru voting system.

Drive-thru voting ended on Oct. 6, with just over 3,000 people choosing to cast their ballot from the comfort of their vehicle.

WATCH: There has been record turnout at advance polling stations in Calgary. Doug Vaessen has details.

Click to play video 'Final day of advance polls in Calgary' Final day of advance polls in Calgary
Final day of advance polls in Calgary

Denys said the increased attendance is good news, but has put some pressure on those working at polling stations.

“Lineups will develop,” Denys said. “Having said that, we are prepared to serve every elector who comes through the advance vote. That’s why there are so many stations throughout the city, and individuals can select any of the stations convenient for them at any given time.”

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Advance voting concludes on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Election day is Monday, Oct. 16.