Voting in the Ontario elections was extended at 27 polling stations.
Elections Ontario says 19 ridings are affected and therefore the count cannot begin in those ridings until their polls are closed.
Extensions last between 10 minutes and two hours.
Polls are due to close across the province at 9 p.m. ET.
The ridings affected are: Algoma-Manitoulin, Brantford-Brant, Cambridge, Don Valley West, Etobicoke Centre, Flamborough-Glanbrook, Mississauga East-Cooksville, Mississauga-Lakeshore, Oakville, Ottawa-Vanier, Parry Sound-Muskoka, Perth-Wellington, Sarnia-Lambton, North Simcoe, Thunder Bay-Atikokan, University-Rosedale, Whitby, York Centre, Kiiwetinoong.
Meanwhile, Elections Ontario says it has resolved an issue that saw no voter information data passed to political parties for much of Thursday morning after the polls opened.
The problem did not affect polling stations for voters, but rather the information passed to parties to let them know who voted and who did not, known as “striped data”.
This data is used by parties to determine who they should try to get to polling stations.
“The connectivity issue has been resolved and the crossed out data is now automatically updated,” said Elections Ontario spokesperson Nicole Taylor.
“Elections Ontario has worked diligently with our telecommunications provider to resolve this issue quickly.”
Several parties told The Canadian Press that they received an update Thursday morning, but that there were supposed to be batches of voter information sent out automatically every 15 minutes.
This data did not start circulating until shortly after 2 p.m.
“It’s fair to say that our effectiveness was badly affected – volunteers should have gone to the doorsteps of people who had already voted for the NDP,” said New Democratic Party spokeswoman Erin Morrison.
Parties could still collect this information by hand at polling stations.
“It didn’t really affect us,” Liberal Party spokeswoman Beckie Codd-Downey said.
The Green Party of Ontario said it has also pivoted to collecting data from in-person polls.
Earlier Thursday, Elections Ontario warned voters of “last minute” location changes at some polling stations after voting begins. He encouraged voters to check his website or app to confirm locations before heading to the polls. The leaders of Ontario’s four major parties voted in the morning.
A poll taken earlier in the campaign suggests that the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford are on the verge of forming a second majority government.
There are 124 seats up for grabs in the election, 63 of which are needed to form a majority government. The Progressive Conservatives won 76 seats in 2018, but held 67 when the legislature was dissolved before the campaign, with changes due to expulsions and resignations.
Ford campaigned heavily on his party’s promises to build highways and hospitals in Ontario, as well as other measures he touted as job-creating. He held limited media availability in the days leading up to the election.
Both the NDP and Liberal leaders presented themselves as the only alternative to the Ford Conservatives and did not state outright that they would work together in the event of a Progressive Conservative minority.
This could be the last NDP leadership election of Andrea Horwath, who is running for premier for the fourth time after her party made gains in 2018 to form the Official Opposition in provincial parliament.
His party won 40 seats in the last election and sat in 38 when dissolved after an expulsion and resignation.
His party has proposed accelerating drug and dental plans for Ontarians, hiring more nurses and teachers, covering mental health and birth control costs and raising pay minimum at $20 in 2026.
The Liberals, meanwhile, are hoping to rebuild after a devastating defeat four years ago that saw their caucus reduced to just seven seats after spending more than a decade in government.
Leader Steven Del Duca, who lost his seat in 2018, also faces a seemingly tight race in his own riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge, though he says he intends to stay ahead regardless of the outcome. .
The Liberal platform includes plans to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for school attendance, remove the provincial HST on prepared foods under $20, and raise the minimum wage to $16 an hour by next year.
The Ontario Greens proposed free mental health coverage, achieving net zero emissions by 2045 and protecting 30% of Ontario’s lands and waters by 2030.
This party led by Mike Schreiner hopes to expand its caucus by one seat – won by Schreiner in Guelph four years ago – and is considering a potential opening in Parry Sound-Muskoka.
Leaders are expected to hold events in the evening after the results are announced.
Elections Ontario said more than one million people voted at advance polls last month and also noted a sharp increase in mail-in ballots requested compared to the 2018 election.
Voting kits were mailed to 126,135 eligible voters this time around, compared to 15,202 ballots in the last election.
— This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 2, 2022.