If watching provincial election results roll in like taking in a hockey game is your thing, be prepared to be disappointed tonight.
Winners in the Ontario election are expected to be determined within 15 minutes in some ridings.
Voting begins this morning at 9 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. at every voting location across the province.
Voters will be cross-referenced in electronic poll books and instead of old-style ballot boxes, most voters will insert their ballots into electronic tabulators, which count the vote. It’s expected that 90 per cent of voters will use the vote tabulator.
“We are able to provide results and count all of those ballots very, very quickly after polls close at 9 p.m., in some cases in as little as 15 minutes,” said Jo Langham, manager of media and public engagement for Elections Ontario. “In the vast majority of electoral districts, the results… will be up in 15 minutes.”
The tabulators are local counting machines and are not equipped for online connectivity, meaning local returning officers must each call in the results, which are then posted onto the Elections Ontario website.
The hope, she added, is that the results, provincewide, will appear very shortly after polls close.
But the advance votes cast, as well as the mail-in ballots, must still be counted manually once the polls close.
In situations where there is a close call, the ballots that have been electronically tabulated may be recounted manually.
Many local voters have already cast their ballots. Provincially, Elections Ontario has indicated just over one million people, or 9.2 per cent of all eligible voters, voted during the 10 days early polls were available.
Langham pointed out that this year voters had 10 days of advance voting, while in 2018 there were only five days available in which to vote early.
In addition, voters requested 120,000 vote-by-mail kits provincewide, up from 15,202 in 2018.
“A significant increase in this election that we were expecting because we’ve seen trends in other provinces that have held elections during the pandemic and obviously during the federal election,” said Langham.
For more information about voting in Newmarket-Aurora, click here.
NewmarketToday will have live local results when the polls close.