Advance polls in Windsor-Essex open Friday. Here’s what you need to know

Eligible Windsor-Essex residents eager to cast their ballot in the federal election can head to the advance polls on Friday.

Advance voting for the 44th federal general election begins on Friday and continues until Monday, Sept 13.

Donald and Ashley Harrington came to the advanced polls to beat the rush come Election Day.

“Trying to beat the lines,” Donald says. “Don’t want to get too close to as many people on Election Day.”

The advance polls are open across the country from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“The election probably could have waited a little bit but we’re here,” Donald says. 

“Just hoping everybody gets out and votes, gets their voice heard.”

University of Windsor Political Science Professor Lydia Miljan believes the motivation to vote has to override pandemic frustrations that have been evident during this federal election campaign.

“The ballot box question is should we punish the Trudeau Liberals for calling an election at the start of the fourth wave of the pandemic.”

Miljan tells CTV News she thinks this election campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic has been short and intense, and doesn’t believe Thursday’s English debate will have a lasting impression between now and Election Day.

“Even though we have those advanced polls and we have the ability to have mail in ballots, I think there’s going to be a lot of frustration,” Miljan says, “just waiting in line and the additional COVID screening,”

Miljan adds, “I think the biggest push for all the campaigns right now is to get the vote out. How are they going to get people to overcome all of those obstacles?”

Residents can check their voter information card to find their advanced polling station, visit elections.ca or call 1-800-463-6868.

"For months, we have been working with public health authorities to deliver a safe in-person voting experience for Canadians," says Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault. "I encourage electors to make a plan and choose the voting option that best suits them, knowing that there are many safe ways to cast a ballot in this election."

Elections Canada released the following information on advance polls:

  • Electors may vote at their assigned polling place only. This is different from the process in some provincial elections, where electors may vote at any polling location.
  • To vote, electors must prove their identity and address. The list of accepted ID is online.
  • Electors can expect to see the following health and safety measures at polling places:
  • o Hand sanitizing stations at entrances and exits
  • o Non-medical masks available
  • o Poll workers wearing non-medical masks
  • o Physical distancing and directional signage
  • o Frequent cleaning of work stations, door handles and other high-touch surfaces
  • Electors have other early voting options, including voting at any Elections Canada office or by mail using the special ballot process.
  • Electors who have concerns about voting in person can vote by mail. They can also call 1-800-463-6868 or visit elections.ca for information about the measures in place to make voting safe at their local Elections Canada office or at their assigned polling place on advance polling days and election day.
  • To provide a safe environment for electors and election workers, Elections Canada strongly encourages electors to wear a mask, even in places where a province, territory or region does not require them.
  • Electors who are self-isolating or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, who have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or who do not want to wear a mask where one is required should apply to vote by mail. The deadline to apply to vote by mail is Tuesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. Completed ballots must arrive at Elections Canada by the election day deadline.