Hours before the polls closed Monday, reports of voting stations running out of ballots popped up in the heart of a battleground Toronto riding.
— Spencer Underwood (@underwoods88) October 19, 2015
The problem was reportedly resolved two hours later.
Problems at polling station in Eglinton-Lawrence. Worker no show for poll 7 at Loretto Abby. Frustrated voters waiting #elxn42— Stephanie Smyth (@stephaniesmyth) October 19, 2015
The same issue also plagued other Toronto-area polling stations.
Just learned that my friend in St. Paul's is unable to cast his ballot, since ballots never arrived at polling station. #PollWatch— Kyle Kirkup (@kylekirkup) October 19, 2015
More reports of shortages rolled in through evening.
The ballot bungle is just the latest headache to strike Elections Canada in lead-up to voting day. High turnout also caused several advance polling stations to run out of ballots in Merritt, B.C.
According to Elections Canada rules, due to the "higher than expected voter turnout," there’s a provision that allows ballots to be photocopied if polling stations run out of them.
On Sunday, a photo of an information card was widely shared on social media after a voter noticed their assigned polling station was only open for a four-hour window.
“[I] would have been out of luck if I showed up after work tomorrow, as I assumed they all close late,” wrote Diana Leslie on Facebook.
Elections Canada confirmed the reduced hours stated on the card was no typo. It was for a mobile polling station that sets up in different places including senior care homes.
“This is for a mobile poll,” said Elections Canada spokeswoman Diane Benson in an email to The Huffington Post Canada. “It goes one place in the morning and one place in the afternoon. It is usually for locations where people have mobility problems.”
The problem was also flagged by a Guelph, Ont. woman who said the assigned voting window of 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. deters residents at a seniors home from voting.
Catherine Nelson told the Guelph Mercury the later hours work against seniors’ schedules because the times land during the dinner hour, and conflicts with some residents’ bedtimes.
There are 26.4 million Canadians eligible to cast their votes at 65,000 polling stations with roughly 105,140 ballot boxes across the country. Approximately 3.6 million already cast their ballots in advance polls.
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