Elections Canada says delays at polling stations in Kingston, specifically in the Queen’s University area, had nothing to do with a lack of voting material, but was rather caused by higher turnout of unregistered voters than expected.
Following a request from Global News, Elections Canada said they had no reports of polls running out of ballots on Monday evening, nor did they run out of pencils provided at the polls.
The long lineups at polling stations at MacGillivray-Brown Hall and St. Lukes Church involved a high turnout of university students, Elections Canada said.
“Many had recently moved to Kingston but still took the time to get the ID they needed (copy of their lease, letter from the University). As many as 500 students registered on election day,” an Elections Canada spokesperson said in an email.
Some of these students first went to the returning office but were sent to a polling station to be able to vote, the spokesperson said.
The added time of having to register hundreds of voters on the spot led to up to three-hour wait times for some in the University District.
Still, Elections Canada said anyone in line before 9:30 p.m., when the polls closed, was given the chance to vote.
“The poll workers stayed late and made sure everyone had a chance to vote,” Elections Canada said.
Nearly 62,000 people voted in Kingston and the Islands for the federal election, once again voting in Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen.