Advance polling stations open across Atlantic Canada
With the federal election now a little more than a week away, advance polling stations have opened up in Atlantic Canada and across the country, putting a political spin on the Thanksgiving weekend.
Despite the dreary, drizzly weather, early bird voters in the Maritimes hit the ballot boxes on Saturday to do their civic duty ahead of Election Day.
“I go to school in Halifax, so I came back for Thanksgiving and thought I should vote,” says Quispamsis, N.B. resident Drew Langille.
“We usually come out to the advance polls because it’s not quite as busy on Election Day,” says Rothesay resident Dave McIlveen.
Advance voting for the 43rd Federal Election is being held throughout the long weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
It began on Friday and continues all the way into the Holiday Monday.
“I think it’s important for people of my demographic and younger to get out and vote for their first election. There are a lot of important issues for me,” says Halifax resident Zoe O’Brien-Moran.
Political Scientist J.P. Lewis says for those who want to discuss politics around the dinner table this Thanksgiving weekend, there is a lot to talk about, but others may be suffering from election burnout.
“We’ve seen in this campaign polls showing that people aren’t necessarily enjoying this campaign as much as say 2015, and that’s not surprising considering some of the stories that have dominated this campaign,” says Lewis, a political science professor at the University of New Brunswick.
“It’s much different,” says Quispamsis resident Thomas Craig. “There seems to be an awful lot of name-calling during the debates and that sort of thing, and sometimes it’s hard to make up your mind when you see that.”
Some say the number of Federal parties pushing their platform is adding to the issue.
“It just makes it very confusing for the voters, and it’s going to be a very close election. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a minority government,” adds Dave McIlveen.
Lewis says that based on the polling, it looks like people may have their minds made up for a while now.
“If they aren’t waiting for another shoe to drop then voting early isn’t going to be a big risk for them,” says Lewis.
This round of advance polling follows on-campus advance polling which was held earlier this week, and saw a considerably higher turnout than in 2015.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.