Courtenay and Comox voters who went to their respective advance polls were faced with up to two-hour waits to vote on Friday.
But Elections Canada officials assured The Record this is nothing out of the norm.
“You’ve got four days of advance polls, but they all show up at 11:30 on the first day,” said Courtenay-Alberni returning officer Ann Chandler. “It happens every time. You try to convince people that if they came back in three hours they would probably be able to walk right up and vote, but they are in the line and they would rather stay.”
The advance polls are open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from noon to 8 p.m. each day.
“We’ve got 32 hours of voting available but they all want to do it in the first hour,” reiterated Chandler. “It’s always like that the first day in every advance poll, probably across Canada. It’s just because there are so many people showing up at the same time. This is not out of the ordinary.”
Many people showing up at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay on Friday afternoon were turning around once they found out the wait time, although the majority just shrugged it off and said they would be back.
“This is a good thing,” said one voter, who wouldn’t give her name. “It tells me there’s interest in the election.”