ontario election lines

Ontario election is already a mess of changed polling stations and tech glitches

The 2022 Ontario election has been off to a pretty smooth start, but like every mass assembly of poorly coordinated humans, there have been some logistical and technical challenges, including last-minute changes to polling station locations.

Elections Ontario is warning voters to make sure their polling station data is up to date, announcing a handful of location changes on Thursday morning and acknowledging technical issues complicating what was promised to be a smooth and efficient voting process this time around.

Polling stations are open across Ontario between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and while many have reported a painless experience with no lines and quick turnaround, others have not been so lucky in their voting ventures.

Notable location changes include the 437 Yonge polling station, moved to the Toronto Metropolitan University at 55 Gould, while the 1001/887 Bay Street polling station has been relocated to the YMCA at 20 Grosvenor Street.

The reduced number of available polling stations was touted by Elections Ontario as a streamlining of the elections process. In the most extreme example, the Spadina-Fort York riding was slashed to just 29 polling stations, a mere 25 per cent of the 116 stations made available in 2018.

Elections Ontario has opted for larger polling stations with higher capacity and tech upgrades to quickly process voters, similar to what you'd find in a line for a bank teller where voters are directed to the first available polling booth.

This strategy appears to be working for the most part, but there are always going to be exceptions. In some cases, the same technology meant to alleviate crowding is to blame for line-ups.

In another instance, an Elections Ontario volunteer's clothing decision appeared to have a cascading effect that created a long line of impatient voters.

Even if you find yourself in a long line as the 9 p.m. voting deadline approaches, fear not, as anyone already in line to cast their ballot will be admitted, and crowded polling stations have been granted time extensions in past elections.

Lead photo by

submitted to blogTO

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