Elections Canada preparing for “unique” pandemic snap election

Elections Canada is gearing up for an election like no other.

Spokesperson Marie-French Kenny says because it’s a snap election during the pandemic, there may be some difficulty in finding venues for polling stations.

“Usually when it’s a set date, we know that in 20XX , there will be an election on this date, then we can set up an already reserve polling stations and polling places,” Kenny said. “We weren’t able to do that, so we’re now setting up as we speak and most of our returning offices are set up, but they’re still establishing posts.”

When it comes to COVID-19 measures, spokesperson Kenny says the safety plan in effect will change from province to province.

“Depending on where you’re located, we’re going to follow local authority safeguards in place, and exceed them,” Kenny said. “Our polling staff will be wearing masks — and in some cases ill be wearing gloves — we’ll have the plexiglass between the poll worker and the voters.”

Kenny says they’re anticipating many more mail-in ballots this time around.

“I think in the last election, it was close to 500,000, and now we made provisions in the thick of the pandemic, we provided for 5,000,000,” Kenny said. “Now we’re reviewing it, it may be a little bit lower because of the vaccination that’s going on and everything else, and (the provinces are) slowly reopening.”

Kenny adds they are still searching for election workers for Sept. 20. Anyone interested is encouraged to visit the Elections Canada website.

Those working the polls will not need to be vaccinated but they will need to wear masks.

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