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Voting issues reported at GTA polling stations

Last Updated Oct 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm EST

A polling station in Toronto on Oct. 19, 2015. CITYNEWS

Voters complained about problems at polling stations across the GTA on Monday, including some stations not opening on time, long lineups at others and short voting times at mobile polling stations.

In one of Canada’s most hotly-contested areas in Toronto, Spadina-Fort York, a 680 NEWS listener said he was turned away when trying to vote shortly after the polls opened at 9:30 a.m.

“The deputy returning officer wasn’t there and I couldn’t cast my ballot. They told me I’d have to come back in an hour,” Alan said.

“Unfortunately, I’d taken an hour off work. I’m heading to work now, and I probably not going to get back until around 11 o’clock tonight. I’m not going to able to cast my ballot, which really annoyed me,” Alan said.

He said other voters were turned away at the polling station, which is located at a condominium on Fort York Boulevard.

Also in the Spadina-Fort York riding, CityNews viewer Ronn Scott said he went to vote at 20 Joe Shuster Way, as per Elections Canada, but there was no polling station. He said voters were being turned away.

Another man trying to vote near Carlton and Mutual streets in downtown Toronto said there were no ballot boxes when he showed up.

Meanwhile, a voter in Scarborough said when she went to vote, she was told in advance to return her ballot to the person at the polling station.

“I did what I always do which was complete the ballot and then place in the voting box. The woman reacted to my doing this and told me that I was to have turned my ballot back to her,” Heather Ostertag said.

Ostertag said when she spoke to the supervisor, he told her the rules had changed.

This is what a video on Elections Canada’s website says: “Refold your ballot to keep it secret. Bring your ballot back to the table. The worker will take your folded ballot, tear off the tab and give it back to you, so you can put it in the ballot box.

 

Earlier in the day, Elections Canada’s website was down due to high traffic volumes. The website was back up and running around 30 minutes later.

Shorter voting times at mobile polling stations

Although polls in Ontario are open until 9:30 p.m., that’s not the case for mobile polling stations, which make the rounds to seniors’ residences, hospitals and nursing homes across the country.

At a polling station in Vaughan-Woodbridge, set up at the Amica retirement home, the voter registration cards indicated that polls are only open until 1:30 p.m.

“Elections Canada offers mobile polling stations in some residences and hospital wards,” Elections Canada’s website reads. “Voters who live in hospitals and facilities that provide long-term care may have the extra option of voting at a mobile polling station in their residence.”

Elections Canada said these stations have limited voting windows as they have to service some 5,000 locations across Canada.