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Long voter wait times expected for election day: report

A voter casts a ballot in the 2011 federal election in Toronto on May 2, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Experts are warning it could take longer to vote on election day.

Less than a week before Canadians head to the polls, the director of democratic engagement exchange at Ryerson University, John Beebe, tells the CBC the COVID-19 pandemic will make the electoral process look different compared to years past.

Beebe said it took the average voter about seven minutes to cast a ballot in the 2019 federal election, but believes it could take longer this year, depending on the voting location.

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Beebe also told the CBC line ups could be caused by the frequent cleaning at polling stations, the challenge Elections Canada is seeing in recruiting about 250,000 workers needed for the election, including training them, and finding space large enough to accommodate physical distancing.

During the four advance polling days, Elections Canada said more than 5.7 million Canadians placed their ballots, an increase of 18.46 per cent compared to 2019.