After the longest election campaign in modern history, Maritimers finally had the chance to head to the polls and have their say.

The polls have been running since 8:30 a.m., and there have been lineups and some frustrations with changes under the Fair Election Act.

Donald and Shirley Lawson of Halifax say they left without voting.

“Oh, I’m so damn fed up with it,” said Donald. “I’ve never seen a system so bad.”

“They've got one poll for 49. Everybody else is coming out and going around us and going to the other ones, and they had a man down there standing for 10 friggin’ minutes,” said Shirley.

But voters in New Glasgow had a different take.

"This is the first time I've ever been in a lineup waiting to be registered and then to get a ballot,” said New Glasgow voter Courtney Malcolm. “It's great to see the turnout."

"Every individual vote matters,” said New Glasgow voter Frank Hickey. “If you don't vote, don't complain."

Placing a ballot in the ballot box means many different things for voters.

“I've always believed in democratic process,” said Sydney voter Stacey Galloway. “I think it’s very important to get out and vote and have your voice heard.”

There was a 71 per cent increase in voter turnout at the advance polling stations with 3.6 million Canadians voting over four days.

Despite those higher numbers, polling stations also had lineups before the doors opened Monday morning.

“We know the climate that we're in right now, either you need change or you like the status quo,” said Saint John voter Liam Freill. “But either way, it’s big decision day.”

“It’s part of my civic duty,” said Sussex voter Robert Dearman. “I can’t complain if I don’t vote.”

Some voters like Kaitrin Harnish of Halifax were practicing their democratic duty for the first time.

“Young voters are taking more dedication to actually figuring out who they want to vote for. and that's what I did,” she said. “I took the time to actually research each party and decided that way who I wanted to vote for.”

“It’s time for change, people (are) just ready for it,” said Halifax voter Cameron MacDonald “This is honestly the first time I voted in about 12 years. I never felt the need to or the want to.”

Other voters struggled to decide whether to vote for their local candidate or the federal leader.

“I think they’re strong people, but the leadership is not in my book,” said Halifax voter Bill Factor.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jacqueline Foster