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Thousands of voters take advantage of advanced polls in K-W

Municipal election day is October 24
Vote 3
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There's one week to go until the municipal election and it seems many voters have already gotten a head start. 

The final in-person advanced opportunities in the tri-cities were held this past weekend. 

There were a total of eight advanced polling days in Waterloo and almost 4,000 early ballots were cast, representing 4.8 per cent of eligible voters. 

The exact total came to 3,981 votes. The busiest day for early voting took place at RIM Park on Sunday, with 1,037 ballots cast. 

"When we think about the things that affect us every single day, like being able to turn on a tap and have water run and flush a toilet and be able to get to school or get to work... these are all decision points made by municipal government. It's really important for voters to come out," said Julie Scott, city clerk for the City of Waterloo. 

In Kitchener, 3.3 per cent of eligible voters took advantage of advanced voting with a total of 5,639 ballots cast over the course of four days. 

The largest turn out was at the Forest Heights Community Centre, which accounted for more than 1,500 of the advanced votes. 

For comparison in 2018, early voting saw just over 3,000 residents head to the polls before election day. 

Jaclyn Rodrigues, election project manager for the City of Kitchener, attributed increased voter turnout to improvements made by the city based on the 2018 election results, to determine the best hours to hold advance voting.

"It was vote at any voting location in the city... so that might have made it easier and smooth for people to vote as well," said Rodrigues.

While in-person advanced opportunities have now closed in Cambridge, online voting will be available until 8 p.m. on October 24. 

Wilmot is also allowing online voting until election night and the next in-person voting opportunity is this weekend. In a release issued on Monday, the township said more than 2,500 ballots have been cast since October 17 --- representing 14.5 per cent voter turnout so far, compared to a total of 4.1 per cent advanced voter turnout in 2018. 

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