Early voting is open in the federal election, and high turnout means people are already reporting problems.
Graham Jones says the lineup at his Abbotsford polling station was nearly an hour and a half long, as staff struggle to keep up.
“My neighbours told me that in past years there have been two or three ballot boxes on advanced polling days. They don’t know why it’s down to one.”
Elections Canada’s Dorothy Sitek says early voters can’t expect the same staffing levels as on general election day.
“Canadians at about 80 per cent choose to vote on election day, and so naturally we provide more election voting locations on election day.”
Sitek says it’s just the fist day of advanced voting, and is asking people to be patient.
Meanwhile, a UBC politics expert says to treat the polls with caution.
With the federal election just over a week away, Professor Max Cameron says the contest will likely be won by which party has the best ground game on election day.
It’s called “get out the vote”, the ability of parties to identify supporters and mobilize them on election day.
Cameron says it’s an area the Conservatives excel at with their high-tech database and targeted message.
“Really focusing on those ridings that are strategically important, and making sure that they reach out, get the message to the voters that you think are receptive to them.”
He says the race will come down to who can get their voters to the polls.
“We saw in the provincial election, all of the polls were saying the NDP is ahead in BC. And I think part of the reason the results were so different from the polls was that there were a lot of people who supported the NDP but didn’t bother to vote, particularly young people, so that effort to mobilize the vote is critical.”
Cameron says traditionally, the conservatives have the edge when it comes to getting their voters to the polls but he says with independent groups like “Leadnow” wading into the fray there could be a bump in turnout across the board.