Voter turnout up 71% in four days of advance polling
Elections Canada estimates more than 3.6 million voters cast their ballots in the first four days of advance polling, up 71 per cent from the last federal election.
The non-partisan agency estimates that approximately 1.2 million Canadians voted at advance polls on Monday. That is in addition to the 767,000 electors who voted on Sunday, the 780,000 on Saturday, and the 850,000 on Friday.
In 2011, the agency recorded 2,077,000 votes over the first three days of advance polling.
The increase in voter turnout led to long lines at polling stations across the country, with some voters waiting up to two hours to cast their ballots.
Despite the lines, voters continued to turn up in crowds throughout the weekend and Thanksgiving Monday.
At one polling station in Alberta, some voters told CTV Calgary that they were voting at advanced polls for a number of reasons: because they knew they'd busy or out of town on election day, or because they "didn't want to forget" to show up on Oct. 19.
University of Victoria Political Science Professor Janni Aragon said, compared to other countries in the world, voting is a relatively easy and quick process in Canada, and a two-hour wait is worth the chance to participate in democracy.
"Some countries in the continent of Africa will wait six hours or eight hours. You (have) to wait 90 minutes to two hours," she said. "Two hours is a very small part of our lives."
Advance polls closed Monday at 8 p.m.
The deadline to apply to vote by mail or at an Elections Canada office is Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.
Polls will also be open on election day, Oct. 19.
For more information on where and when to vote, visit Elections Canada's website.