Canadians are taking to the polls today to cast their ballots in the federal election. Thanks to COVID-19 protocols, voting stations aren't being held at universities or seniors centres, where they have traditionally in the past, but places like community centres, places of worship and schools are opening their doors to voters.
Things are looking a little different than they have in past elections. There's an extra step of precaution taken when each voter arrives at their polling station, which involves answering the standard COVID-19 related health screening questions. And of course, physical distancing is in place at polling stations, which is making already long lineups appear that much longer.
Many Canadians were already disgruntled about the snap election being called during a pandemic, but long lines at the polls haven't eased the frustrations. Some took to Twitter to express their annoyance, while others were grateful to have the opportunity to vote to begin with.
What Canadians are saying on Election Day
40 min & counting.
People are giving up on voting because the lines are too long. This is 1 of many reasons calling an election during a global crisis is irresponsible #elexn44
— LeaGrie, PhD (@LeaGrie) September 20, 2021
Massive line at our election site which is amazing but looks like it’s going to take awhile. Just vote, baby!
— G (@GruntDiddles) September 20, 2021
10:15 am at the voting centre assigned for Federal election, more than 50 people in the line waiting, no signs, no voting list, no ballets and booth…
10:40 not even one person voted yet here… People are leaving without voting…
This disorganization is NOT pandemic related…
— Azadeh Zangeneh (@AzadehZangeneh) September 20, 2021
My voting location is the lobby of my building and this is the line to vote. There are people behind me as well. I've lived here since 2013 and have never seen it this busy on an election day. I'm so glad people are turning out to vote.#cdnpoli #Elxn44 pic.twitter.com/ISFnGbJypd
— 🐞rachel @ homefest🐞 (@rachel_garniss) September 20, 2021
— Miz Schweizenheimer (@erika_ess) September 20, 2021
Lines longer than 90 mins are not inspiring nor patriotic. This is voter suppression. Shame on @ElectionsCan_E and @JustinTrudeau for not allowing Canadians to participate in democracy. If you can’t run an election properly don’t call one. #Elxn44
— Malcolm S. Ramsay (@malcolmsramsay) September 20, 2021
— Elisabeth Beattie (@ea_bt) September 20, 2021
If you weren’t already pissed off this election the massive lines will definitely help w that. pic.twitter.com/0giHGFeUPI
— Andrew Piper (@_akpiper) September 20, 2021
Election workers play a pivotal role in our democracy. Lines may be long (and sometimes deceivingly so as a result of distancing), things may take longer than we're used to as Canadians, but it's all worth it and not poll workers' fault. Patience and kindness will go a long way.
— Jean-Paul Bevilacqua (@jpbevi) September 20, 2021
Waits are longer than expected… if you’re in line to vote allow for 45mins to an hour. Thanks for voting Canada!
But hey, still much better than an American election.
This has been a PSA. #elxn44vote
— Vaxxed Squiddy (@squidpod) September 20, 2021
Snap election decision will impact the vote, expert says
Nelson Wiseman, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto, says the snap election will definitely sway how people vote.
“A lot of people are going to be voting on that because a lot of people think it was unnecessary and uncalled for, as Erin O’Toole and Jagmeet Singh have said,” he tells Yahoo News Canada.
The time it takes to vote might not be the only thing that will take a bit longer this election. The final numbers could take a few days to come in, though Wiseman says we should have a general idea of how the new government will be shaping up by Monday evening.
“We’ll probably have most of the results by Tuesday evening, though Elections Canada says Wednesday,” he says. “But when you get the results on TV, they’re never the final results. But I think we’ll get the contours of the result tonight."
Wiseman predicts, based on what the current polls are showing, that it will be another minority government for the Liberals.
“They could get a majority but it’s a stretch, so probably not,” he says.