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Fewer voting locations could mean longer lineups Monday, says Elections Canada

Due to the unavailability of locations such as schools, 'we had to look far and wide to find places,' says Elections Canada spokesperson
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A reduction in poll locations means local voters may have to travel a little farther afield to cast their vote on Monday.

“It may be farther than in past elections and it also means more lineups, longer lineups,” said Elections Canada regional spokesperson Réjean Grenier.

In Barrie’s north-end riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte there will be 46 voting locations, down from the 57 locations that were used during the 2019 federal election. There will be 166 polls in total at those locations, down from 177 last time around.

In the city's south-end riding of Barrie-Innisfil, there will be 26 sites, down from the 30 sites in 2019, and there will be 156 polls, which is down from 162 last time.

The unavailability of schools and other premises largely as a result of concerns related to the pandemic presented a challenge to returning officers in ridings across the country. Nationally, there will be 14,438 voting locations, a drop from the 15,484 locations used in the 2019 federal election.

“We had to look far and wide to find places,” Grenier said.

Some of the locations are larger in size, meaning they can accommodate more individual voting polls.

Meanwhile, the search continues for people to work at the polls on Monday. Nationally, Elections Canada has recruited only 78 per cent of the staff required.

The starting pay is $17.22 per hour. Given that the day could be 12 hours long, Elections Canada also provides overtime.

Polls open on Monday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m. and will remain open until 9:30 p.m.

For more local election coverage, visit BarrieToday's CanadaVotes2021 page