Voters in South London, Ontario, hoping to overcome long lines at polling stations, prevailed when Canadians cast their votes for the 44th general election.
Canada’s first general elections during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to bring longer than usual delays for voters, and by noon Monday, long lines had already been seen at several polling stations in Toronto.
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Polls in London, along with all other Eastern time zone locations, opened at 9:30 a.m. M.
Across the region, reports emerged of long lines forming before polling stations opened, but about an hour later, things seemed to have cleared up, for the time being, outside the sites in the city center, Wortley. Village and in the far south.
Late on Monday morning, Global News spoke with voters who cast their ballots at the Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn and Conference Center, a hotel in the London-Fanshawe federal district that has been used repeatedly as a voting center.
“The lines are long, but the process is choreographed to fit that reality,” said Virginia Caldwell, who came to cast her vote shortly after 11 am. “It just runs like a small stream. He’s very nice and the people (from Elections Canada) are doing an excellent job. “
Reid Meerburg arrived at the Lamplighter Inn just after finishing his work, hoping to fulfill his civic duty before returning home for the day.
He shared similar praise for Elections Canada staff, adding that the process was well organized and was a good first pandemic voting experience.
“You know what? I think I like (voting in a pandemic) more than normal, there are fewer lines,” Meerburg said.
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While waiting a long wait, Ginny Slade and James Bryce found otherwise when they arrived to cast their votes.
“It’ll probably get busier towards the evening, you know, people coming back from work, etcetera,” Bryce said.
Slade added that the protocols related to the pandemic did not pose much of a challenge either.
“I wear my mask eight hours a day, so for me, I’m used to it,” she said.
“We were in and out,” said Kelly Robertson, who arrived with Dylan Dubois shortly after midnight.
“I’m here at lunchtime, so that speaks to the fact that there aren’t really long lines, so it’s very well organized,” added Dubois.
Londoners, and all other Canadians in the Eastern Time Zone, have until 9:30 pm to cast their vote.
Elections Canada suggests that voters avoid rush hours, such as the afternoon rush hours after work, to avoid potential delays.
The need to find sites with enough space to withstand physical distancing has also led, in part, to a drop in polling places and individual polls in various districts.
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In a document sent to Global News in early September, the biggest drop in polls on Election Day was in the London North Center, which has just 172 polls on Monday, down from 211 for the 43rd general election. The parade was also reduced to 44 polling places in this year’s election, down from 54.
While London West lost a single poll on Election Day, its number of polling places fell to 48, from 64 during the 43rd general election.
Elgin-Middlesex-London fell to 38 polling sites, up from 47 in 2019, and lost a single poll on Election Day.
London-Fanshawe was largely unchanged, losing just one polling site while maintaining its number of individual polls.
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