Elections Canada tells CityNews it is expecting a surge in mail-in voting (special ballots) for the upcoming federal election due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2019 election, about 50,000 Canadian used mail-in-voting. This year, Elections Canada expects that number to surge to between two and three million as it allows online registration for all voters for the first time.
Special ballots for the Sept. 20 election can be requested now, with a deadline of Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. local time.
All eligible voters can apply for a special ballot here.
On election night, in-person votes will be counted first, followed by mail-in-ballots.
Elections Canada expects it to take around 24 hours to verify special ballots before they start counting them — a process that could take between one and five days depending on volume.
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Stéphane Perrault also projected that this election could cost over $100 million more than the last one.
Perrault said Wednesday that the last election cost about $506 million, and this one is expected to cost around $610 million, although he says that number could change.
Advance polls open on Sept. 10.
Scroll through the document below for a step-by-step guide to the mail-in voting process