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Montrealers flock to advance polls to cast their ballots

ABOVE: Montrealers flocked to the polls to cast their ballot during advance polling over the holiday weekend.

Montrealers flocked to the polls to cast their ballots during advanced polling over the holiday weekend.

“It was just incredible,” said Claude Landry, the Elections Canada returning officer for the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount.

“First day we had 3,000 electors, the next two days we had close to 3,000 each day, so that’s quite busy.”

According to Elections Canada, more people are showing up to vote in advance not only in Montreal but across the country.

In the first two days of advance voting, two million Canadians cast votes – a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2015 when 1.6 million Canadians voted.

READ MORE: Numbers show 25% increase in advance voting over 2015: Elections Canada

Elections Canada says the higher turnout could be in part due to the fact they’ve expanded voting hours.
They’ve also added an extra day for people to cast their ballots in advance.

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“It’s very organized and from the start, from the door, to the end, it’s very comfortable,” said Toan Nguyen who was casting his vote in the Laurier-Sainte-Marie riding in the Plateau-Mont-Royal.

Federal Election 2019: Advance polling hours to be extended
Federal Election 2019: Advance polling hours to be extended

For Meddric Durand, the climate was a big motivator to vote. “Also really scared for Scheer to get in so this is a real big motivator,” Durand added.

Tashiina Buswa just wanted to skip the lines.

“I imagine it’s crazy on actual voting day,” she said.

But more voters taking part in the advance polls doesn’t necessarily mean people are more motivated to vote overall in this election.

READ MORE: Got questions about voting in Canada? Here are some answers

“It’s possible that higher turnout now could be compensated by lower turnout on Election Day itself,” said Sébastien Dallaire with Ipsos Québec. “Whether it’s a change of habits among voters or it’s an actual demonstration of higher motivation remains to be seen.”

Polls open once again on election day Monday, October 21.