Voter turnout at advanced polls across Canada is up for the federal election, but that was not the case in Simcoe North where Orillia and area residents vote.
In 2019, 16,456 citizens in Simcoe North cast ballots at advanced polls, but this time around, only 13,263 citizens voted early.
Across Canada, preliminary estimates indicate approximately 5.78 million electors voted in advance polls, which is up by 18.46 per cent compared to the 2019 general election that saw Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party form a minority government.
Most local ridings saw an increase in turnout.
In Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, the number of voters participating in advance polls was 20,794, an increase of more than 24 per cent from 15,728 in 2019.
In Simcoe-Grey, 32,124 people took advantage of advance polls, up from 21,579 and marking a 33 per cent hike.
In York-Simcoe, the number of electors who took part in advance polls was 20,947, which is up from 16,456 and shows a 21 per cent increase.
In fact, Simcoe North was the only one among five Simcoe County ridings that saw a reduction of votes.
Simcoe North is bucking the trend in another way, too. While the number of voting sites has decreased this time around - dramatically in some places - things are virtually unchanged in Simcoe North.
There are 63 voting locations (including advanced polls) across the riding, down just one from the 2019 federal election. On election day, there will be 52 voting locations, down two from 2019.
The changes to the number of polls is also minor. There will be 233 polls on election day in Simcoe North. In 2019, there were 235 polls.
By comparison, in the riding of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte there will be 46 voting locations, down from the 57 locations that were used in 2019. There will be 166 polls in total at those locations, down from 177 last time around.
In the riding of Barrie-Innisfil, there will be 26 sites, down from the 30 sites in 2019, and there will be 156 polls compared to 162 last time.
The unavailability of schools and other premises largely as a result of concerns related to the pandemic presented a challenge to returning officers in ridings across the country. Nationally, there will be 14,438 voting locations, a drop from the 15,484 locations used in the 2019 federal election.
The federal election will take place Monday, Sept. 20 with the polls open from 9:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.
For more local election coverage, visit our CanadaVotes 2021 page.