Voting time extended at 27 Ontario polling stations, delaying some riding results

·6 min read
People coming in and out of the polling station at Trinity Community Recreation Centre in Toronto are pictured during Ontario’s election day on June 2, 2022.  (Esteban Cuevas/CBC - image credit)
People coming in and out of the polling station at Trinity Community Recreation Centre in Toronto are pictured during Ontario’s election day on June 2, 2022. (Esteban Cuevas/CBC - image credit)

Elections Ontario said Thursday evening that voting has been extended at 27 polling stations, and by as much as two hours in one riding.

Due to Elections Ontario rules, CBC will be unable to report on the results in 19 affected ridings when most polls close at 9 p.m. ET. Some polls will only stay open for 10 additional minutes, while in the northern riding of Kiiwetinoong one polling station will now be open until 11 p.m.

For a full list, check the bottom of this story.

It's impossible to say if the delays will slow the call of who has won the election.

Meanwhile, reports of technical issues at some polling stations have slowed over the course of the day, but Elections Ontario remains tight-lipped about what exactly went wrong and how many people might have been impacted.

Around midday, Ottawa-Vanier returning officer Rachelle Crete told CBC News that several polling stations had to convert to paper ballots as a result of technical issues.

She said she was told the technical issues were happening provincewide. Regardless, Crete said, "everything should go smoothly all the same."

  • Having a problem at your polling station? Email tonews@cbc.ca

Elections Ontario has released minimal information about the issues. Around 10 a.m., it said it was aware of the reported issues and was working on a solution.

In a statement around 12:30 p.m. spokesperson Ebru Ozdemir Erol said, "There are no technical issues that are impacting the voting process."

Most polling stations will be open until 9 p.m.

Voters must bring with them a form of official identification along with their registration cards. If you don't have a registration card, you must bring one piece of ID with your name and address on it to your assigned polling station.

Voters weren't the only ones who experienced technological issues Thursday.

For at least five hours, the Elections Ontario portal that parties rely on to guide their get-out-the-vote campaigns didn't work.

WATCH LIVE/ CBC News election night special:

Lack of data a 'massive' campaign disruption for some

By about 2:30 p.m., Elections Ontario said it had fixed the problem, which saw no voter information data flowing to political parties for much of Thursday morning after polls opened.

The issue didn't affect voters at the polls, but rather the information that flows to parties to let them know who has or has not voted, which is known as "strike-off data."

WATCH | Voting on election day? Here's everything you need to know:

That data is used by parties to figure out who they need to try to get out to polling stations.

"The connectivity issue has been resolved and strike-off data is now being updated automatically," said Elections Ontario spokesperson Nicole Taylor.

"Elections Ontario worked diligently with our telecommunications provider to resolve this issue promptly."

Several parties told The Canadian Press they received one update Thursday morning, but that there were supposed to be batches of voter information sent automatically every 15 minutes.

The data did not begin flowing until shortly after 2 p.m, though parties were still able to gather that information by hand at polling stations.

While not every party was impacted by the lack of information, it can make a big difference in some campaigns where the margin of victory comes down to a couple hundred votes or less, said Maureen Balsillie, who manages Matt Richter's Green Party campaign in Parry Sound.

Balsillie said the lack of data was "a massive disruption of our processes."

Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press
Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press

Polling station changes

Also Thursday, Elections Ontario announced some polling stations in Toronto Centre, Mississauga East-Cooksville, and in several Ottawa-area ridings would be moving to new locations.

Here is a list of polling stations that have changed locations:

  • 1001 Bay Street and 887 Bay Street have been moved to the YMCA Metro Central at 20 Grosvenor Street.

  • 473 Yonge Street has been moved to the Toronto Metropolitan University Student Centre at 55 Gould Street.

  • 486 Paisley Boulevard has been moved to the Cashmere Avenue Public School at 3455 Cashmere Avenue.

  • The St. Monica School poll in Nepean has been moved to The Metropolitan Bible Church at 2176 Prince of Wales Dr.

  • The Sacred Heart High School poll in Carleton has been moved to Johnny Leroux Arena at 10 Warner-Colpitts Lane.

  • The Merivale High School poll has been moved to École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers at 159 Chesterton Drive.

Elections Ontario is advising people to check their voting stations by searching their postal code on the Elections Ontario website or application ahead of time.

Despite fewer polling stations this year compared to 2018, Elections Ontario spokesperson, Jo Langham, says the voting process this election day is expected to be "faster and easier" now.

"We don't expect people to run into lines," Langham told CBC Radio's Metro Morning on Thursday.

Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press
Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press

Langham said "technology-enabled" polling stations along with larger venues for physical distancing, will allow voters to cast their ballots faster than previous elections.

The new bank teller model adopted by Elections Ontario —which allows the next voter in line can go to whichever polling official is free instead of waiting for the person designated for their poll — will also help get voters in and out as quickly as possible, Langham said.

Elections Ontario has said that more than one million people voted in advance polls last month and also has noted a sharp rise in mail-in ballots requested compared with the 2018 election.

Voting kits were mailed to 126,135 eligible voters this time around, up from 15,202 ballots last election.

Here is a full list of delays at polling stations Thursday evening, with their updated closing times:

  • Algoma-Manitoulin, poll 004: 11 p.m.

  • Brantford—Brant, poll 008: 9:10 p.m.

  • Cambridge, poll 026: 9:15 p.m.

  • Don Valley West, poll 023: 9:15 p.m.

  • Etobicoke Centre, poll 411: 9:30 p.m.

  • Etobicoke Centre, poll 412: 9:30 p.m.

  • Flamborough—Glanbrook, poll 003: 10:45 p.m.

  • Mississauga East—Cooksville, poll 020: 9:25 p.m.

  • Mississauga East—Cooksville, poll 028: 9:26 p.m.

  • Mississauga—Lakeshore, poll 021: 9:40 p.m.

  • Mississauga—Lakeshore, poll 023: 9:25 p.m.

  • Oakville, poll 036: 9:30 p.m.

  • Ottawa—Vanier, poll 018: 9:24 p.m.

  • Parry Sound—Muskoka, poll 052: 9:10 p.m.

  • Parry Sound—Muskoka, poll 030: 9:30 p.m.

  • Perth—Wellington, poll 017: 10:20 p.m.

  • Sarnia—Lambton, poll 011: 9:30 p.m.

  • Simcoe North, poll 024: 9:38 p.m.

  • Thunder Bay—Atikokan, poll 055: 9:45 p.m.

  • University—Rosedale, poll 017: 9:30 p.m.

  • University—Rosedale, poll 021: 9:40 p.m.

  • University—Rosedale: poll 022: 9:55 p.m.

  • University—Rosedale, poll 027: 9:30 p.m.

  • Whitby, poll 009: 9:10 p.m.

  • York Centre, poll 013: 9:20 p.m.

  • Kiiwetinoong, poll 019: 11 p.m.

  • Kiiwetinoong, poll 028, 9:30 p.m.

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