Langley voters flock to advance polls

Early voting was up sharply over the long weekend.

In between helpings of turkey and pumpkin pie, plenty of Langley residents headed out to the advance polls for the federal election.

Both Cloverdale-Langley City and Langley-Aldergrove saw lineups of some length at some of the advance poll stations.

“Very busy,” said Pat Lucier, returning officer in Cloverdale-Langley City. “We were up substantially in this election.”

Although it’s a new riding, the 11,000 people who voted in advance is a significant number. Ridings have an average population of a little more than 100,000 people.

“There was a fair amount of young people out, which was good to see,” said Lucier.

The voter turnout was not quite as high in Langley-Aldergrove, but it was higher than is typical.

The unofficial tally is more than 9,700 votes, said Debbie Fraser, a field liaison for Elections Canada.

Overall, turnout was up markedly across Canada, Fraser said.

Turnout was also high on Monday, the fourth day of the advance polls, but the total national tally wouldn’t be released until late Tuesday.

The higher than expected turnout did result in lines at several of the polling places during the four days, in both ridings.

Lucier said some people were impatient with the Elections Canada staffers who were processing everyone. He called on voters to please be patient, and said everyone is doing their best.

Election day itself could also be busy, Lucier said.

“I feel that this is going to carry on right through, and Monday will be a very busy day,” Lucier said.

Making a bit of extra time Monday to vote might be a good idea.

Fraser noted that it depended where voters cast a ballot.

Some polling places saw lines, while at others people walked in and could vote immediately.

The requirements for identification didn’t have much of an impact, said Lucier.

“Most people are well aware,” he said.

People were still coming in Tuesday to the returning office to vote by special ballot, Lucier said, and he expected that option to be busy as well.

By Tuesday, Elections Canada reported that advance voting was up 16 per cent already, with just the first three days of votes counted.


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