Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Canadians rush to early polls in election, mail-in ballots underwhelm

CoronavirusSep 15, 2021 03:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the Discovery Centre during an election campaign stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

(Changes headline)

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadians voted in advanced polls in record numbers ahead of an upcoming election, some looking to beat crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released this week, though an expected avalanche of mail-in ballots has failed to materialize.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called the snap Sept. 20 election to try to secure a majority, is now fighting to keep his job with his Liberal party in a tight race against their main rival, the Conservatives.

Nearly 5.8 million Canadians voted early this election, up 18.5% from the 2019 vote, preliminary data from Elections Canada shows. Separately, a record 1.2 million mail-in ballots have also been issued, though that is far fewer than the 2.3 million to 4.3 million range Elections Canada had predicted.

Canada has more than 27 million eligible voters.

The surge at advanced polls, coupled with softer demand for mail-in ballots, shows Canada's highly vaccinated populace is comfortable voting in-person, alleviating some worries voters would not show up due to pandemic fears, said experts.

"Most people are double vaccinated now. So I think they are maybe less afraid to go vote in-person," said Daniel Beland, a professor of political science at McGill University.

"If we were still in the third wave, where few people had been vaccinated, I think things might be different."

More than 77% of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, but a Delta-driven fourth wave has cases surging across the country.

While mail-in voting is proving less popular than anticipated, it could still slow counts in a handful of tight ridings, potentially delaying the overall outcome for days. Most mail ballots will be counted only after they are checked against in-person votes.

"This will be an unusual election because we will break the record for mail-in ballots federally. That plus the pandemic makes it difficult to get a sense of the likely voter turnout," said Nik Nanos, the head of Nanos Research.

The Conservatives and Liberals are locked in a dead heat at 31.2% to 30.5% of the vote less than a week from election day, according to the latest Nanos poll. The left leaning New Democrats have 21.4%.

Trudeau was attacked by his rivals on Wednesday, after data showed inflation was at an 18-year high amid upward pressure on prices for everything from gasoline to housing to furniture.

Canadians rush to early polls in election, mail-in ballots underwhelm

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email