Voters have turned out in unusually high numbers for advance polls in New Brunswick, with the chief electoral officer saying she believes people are eager to avoid election day lineups during a pandemic.

The behaviour of voters in New Brunswick's election are being observed across the country, with a provincial election coming in Saskatchewan in October, and the possibility of a federal election this fall.

Kim Poffenroth, New Brunswick's chief electoral officer, said that by 8 p.m. on Saturday, 63,000 people had cast ballots -- an increase of about 20,000 voters, or 45 per cent, over the first day of advance voting in 2018.

That's about 17 per cent of the roughly 380,000 people who turned out to vote in the last election, held at a similar time of year.

The snap election called by Blaine Higgs' Progressive Conservative minority government is set for Sept. 14, after the minimum 28-day campaign period.

Poffenroth attributes the strong turnout to an Elections New Brunswick campaign that urged early voting in order to avoid lineups due to social distancing rules being applied at polling stations.