Advance polls in St. John's region closed 'until further notice' after hurricane

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Elections Canada says advance polls in several ridings in Newfoundland are closed until further notice after hurricane Larry pummeled the region Saturday, knocking out power and damaging homes and businesses.

Extra polling days will not be added to account for the closures in the St. John's East and St. John's South-Mount Pearl ridings, in an email, spokeswoman Françoise Enguehard added in an email. Voters can instead cast a ballot on the Sept. 20 election day.

She said an update on advance polls in the Avalon riding will come later.

Larry made landfall as a Category 1 storm along the island's south coast early Saturday morning, bringing sheets of rain and sustained winds of up to 130 km/h across the Avalon Peninsula, which includes the capital city of St. John's.

Elections Canada had said initially said opening of advance polls in the three ridings would be delayed as officials assessed the damage caused by the storm. Newfoundland and Labrador have a total of seven seats in the House of Commons.

St. John's East is a hotly-contested riding, with Liberal newcomer Joanne Thompson vying to swipe the seat from the NDP following Jack Harris's announcement that he wouldn't be running again.

The NDP are hoping labour leader Mary Shortall will maintain the party's hold on the district.

Advance polling in the federal election runs through the weekend until the end of the day on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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