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'People are giving up voting because lines are too long': Canadians gripe over struggle to vote in COVID-19 conditions, while others are thankful

·5-min read

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. 

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Voters line up at the Toronto Public Library - Parkdale Branch on September 20, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. Canadians are going to the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party called a snap election last month. Trudeau is hoping a decisive win will give him a strong mandate to lead. (Photo by Ian Willms/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Voters line up at the Toronto Public Library - Parkdale Branch on September 20, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. Canadians are going to the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party called a snap election last month. Trudeau is hoping a decisive win will give him a strong mandate to lead. (Photo by Ian Willms/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Voters line up at the Toronto Public Library - Parkdale Branch on September 20, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. Canadians are going to the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party called a snap election last month. Trudeau is hoping a decisive win will give him a strong mandate to lead. (Photo by Ian Willms/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Voters line up at the Toronto Public Library - Parkdale Branch on September 20, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. Canadians are going to the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party called a snap election last month. Trudeau is hoping a decisive win will give him a strong mandate to lead. (Photo by Ian Willms/Getty Images)

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

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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.

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