Elections Canada is estimating that close to 5,000 special voting kits issued to electors in Hamilton did not come back to the agency as of Monday morning on election day.
Some 18,000 kits were issued for electors in the city to cast a ballot by mail or at a local Elections Canada office provided they registered the week before.
Eligible Canadians living both at home and abroad could apply online to vote by mail.
Numbers updated Monday morning showed that of the 18,052 kits were issued, just under 12,900 were actually returned. The ballots need to be received by the time polls close in each riding.
Just under 11,000 of close to 14,000 were returned in Niagara Region with about 1400 of 5700 kits issued in the Burlington region still outstanding.
Elections Canada reported just over 1,000 had not comeback in Brantford as of early Monday and about 500 of 2700 in Haldimand–Norkfolk.
Earlier this year, it was anticipated that somewhere between four to five million voters potentially would choose a special ballot this election. In mid-august, Elections Canada revised that number to about two million.
At last count, about 1.27 million were issued to the 338 ridings across the country. The highest number of kits were sent out in Victoria (12,679), followed by Saanich-Gulf Island (10,731), and Ottawa Centre (10,388).
Those who registered received kits with instructions, details about deadlines, a pre-addressed and prepaid return envelope, additional security envelopes and a special ballot.
The updated guidelines said special ballots had a blank space where voters can write the name of the candidate they have decided to vote for which differs from the standard ballot, which Elections Canada said includes a list of candidates to choose from.
Locally, Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas had the most kits distributed, 4871.
In Niagara 4,165 were issued in St. Catharines.
The final results of the federal election may not be known until Wednesday, election officials have warned, because of almost one million mail-in ballots that will not be opened until Tuesday.
A clutch of close-run ridings, where mail-in ballots could prove crucial to the result, may have to wait days for a winner to be declared.
Elections Canada expects “the vast majority” of mail-in ballots to be counted by Wednesday.
Hamilton heart surgery patient cast ballot from hospital bed
A patient who wasn’t sure he would be well enough to vote on Monday received a bed side visit from Elections Canada last week.
David Veri, 58, from Caledonia was able to get his advance vote in from Hamilton General (HGH) thanks to a longstanding partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and the non-partisan voting agency.
“I believe it’s extremely important for voters to have their say,” Veri said.
“There are people in the world who are literally dying for the right to vote.”
All HHS hospital sites, including HGH, had Elections Canada representatives check in to bring advanced voting to in-patients in their hospital rooms.
At Hospitals across Canada, where health and safety policies allow election officers to be on site, patients can vote by special ballot from their hospital room.
“One of our key goals at Elections Canada is to ensure all Canadians have an opportunity to vote in a safe and accessible way,” said Elections Canada spokesperson Dugald Maudsley.