By Tracey Arial
Early in the afternoon last Sunday, the polling station at LaSalle Community Comprehensive was busy with prospective voters. All the candidates were outside laughing together, keeping the proper distance from the station, as the law prescribes.
The crowd, five ballots per person and a voting system with paper ballets, pencils that need to be sharpened frequently and a series of table, each welcoming people from a few select streets, meant that the wait was longer than usual for advance polling. Several older people turned around and left before casting their ballots.
“It was extremely long,” said LaSalle resident Louise Cyr, who voted at around 1:30 p.m. “The employees didn’t seem to know what they were doing. I waited about 45 minutes. My tenant waited for an hour.” The polling station in Sault St. Louis sector is known to be the most active in the borough.
The polling station at Schevenko and David Boyer wasn’t nearly as crowded. Only candidates from Marcel Côté’s party were seen there.
Montreal’s returning officer has already confirmed that Cyr was among 61,502 people who voted at the advance polls across the island. The figure represents 5.58 per cent of registered electors. Last year, voter turn-out at the advance poll was 5.37 per cent. With all the choices, it’s expected that turnout will be high in LaSalle.
Several people who hoped to vote didn’t get a chance to do so, though, said Cyr. “There were many people who left. These were all older people. They weren’t very stable on their legs. I’m afraid to hear what will happen on Nov. 3.”
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