Voting in Simcoe Muskoka: What to know before heading to the polls
Polling stations are open across Simcoe Muskoka and surrounding areas with long lines as voters cast their ballots on Monday.
The Holly Community Centre had a lineup as soon as the doors opened at 9:30 Monday morning in Barrie.
One by one, residents funnelled into the building to cast their ballot.
"For younger people like myself, it's important to vote," said Ryan Staite.
Many waiting in line said they came to voice their opinion on several key issues, including the handling of the pandemic.
"We have a right to vote. It's Canada, and it's part of your freedoms. It's also part of your voice. Don't complain if you don't vote because you had a chance to change things," said Susan Roach, who was voting at Dorian Parker Pavilion.
"It's a big vote with what's going on, and we need to make sure we're going in a positive direction moving forward," said Bill Jacques before casting his ballot.
WHAT DO I NEED TO VOTE
Voters need to wear a mask and bring their voter card, photo identification and a pencil. However, most voting stations will supply single-use pencils.
If a resident doesn't have a photo ID, a bank statement, housing lease, or utility bill will suffice. A list of accepted ID to prove your identity is available here.
According to Elections Canada, the advance polls saw a record number of voters nationwide.
The Country totalled 5.7 million early votes which is an increase of 18 per cent from the 2019 federal election, said Rejean Grenier, regional media advisor for Elections Canada.
Grenier said with the rise in voting activity this year polling stations are prepared if there is another large turnout.
"We plan for every Canadian to vote. That's our plan, and we've seen surges before, "said Grenier.
WHERE TO FIND A POLLING STATION ACROSS THE REGION
Residents are assigned a specific polling station on their voter card, which should have recently arrived in the mail.
Unlike in previous years, usual voting stations may have changed locations due to COVID-19.
Elections Canada urges voters to check the voting address on the information card and be prepared to follow pandemic guidelines.
"Voters themselves will have to wear a mask, and if you've forgotten one, don't worry we have millions of them," said Grenier.
Aside from that, tables and lineups will be socially distanced.
Find out where polling stations are in your riding:
Polls will close at 9:30 p.m.