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Long wait times reported at some local advanced polling stations

There was also an issue at a Waterloo station this morning but it has now been resolved
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Advance polls for the federal election opened on Friday and some local voters reportedly encountered long line-ups. 

A news tip sent to 570 NEWS said some people dealt with wait times of up to an hour. 

Réjean Grenier is a regional media advisor with Elections Canada and said the delays were expected.

"That's why there's four days where you can vote at advanced polls. So if there's a long line-up, people can always come back tomorrow."

Grenier added there's quite a few factors at play, with the main one being COVID-19. 

"COVID means that we have protocols that we need to follow⁠— the protocols that are dictated by the Province of Ontario. That includes contact tracing information that has to be taken at the door."

Grenier said size is also playing a factor. There are some bigger advanced polling stations this year, which means more voters coming in— leading to longer wait times. 

"Also because it's a short election, we've had a bit of trouble finding poll workers. We may have less poll workers, therefore, it takes a little bit more time to do the job."

Grenier said if you'd like to help, you can still apply. Any Canadian citizen aged 16 and up can work at a polling station.

"It's actually a pretty good gig for a teenager. You can make easily, in one day, $200-$300." 

If you'd like to apply, click here

On Friday morning, there were also reports of an issue at the advanced polling station at St. Louis Church Gym in Waterloo. 

570 NEWS followers said the station didn't have a polling list and many people left, some allegedly tore up their voter cards. 

"A person who was in charge of the electoral list forgot it at the office. So they had to go back and find it. In the meantime, people couldn't vote and there was a long line-up," explained Grenier.

He said the issue has been resolved and the polling station is running. 

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