Manitoba voters find comfort and convenience in mail-in ballots amid pandemic
Thousands of Manitobans opted to vote by mail during this year's federal election due to COVID-19 concerns, and some don't plan on returning to the polls in person again – even after the pandemic.
Winnipeg resident Aimee Horbul and her mother voted by mail for the first time this year.
"Even though I am vaccinated, I felt it was unnecessary if I had this option, to go into a public place where there may be potentially a lot of people," Horbul said.
"It was convenient, it was easy."
Bre Kelly has always cast her vote in person, but this year she decided to vote by mail.
"Basically as soon as it became available to me on the Elections Canada website to register for voting by mail, I registered," she said.
"It was probably like three days later I got my card in the mail and I sent it off before the end of August."
Bre Kelly (pictured) has always cast her vote in person, but this year she decided to vote by mail. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)
Kelly said the ability to vote by mail is also a good option for people outside of major cities.
"Mostly because it is a bit of an accessibility thing," she said. "I've never had to live in a rural neighbourhood or area myself, but I know that voting by mail may be more convenient for people who don't have immediate access to polling stations."
CANADA SEES SPIKE IN REGISTERED MAIL-IN VOTING KITS THIS YEAR
Elections Canada says more than 1.2 million people registered to vote by mail this year – a significant jump from the approximately 55,000 voting kits sent out to Canadians during the 2019 election.
"It is quite a leap," said Marie-France Kenny, the regional media advisor for Elections Canada. "We believe the pandemic because of the fourth wave is one of the factors. There's several factors – people travelling, not wanting to go to a poll station, not wanting to wear a mask."
More than 35,500 voting kits were sent to Manitoba voters – this includes those voting by mail inside their riding, those voting by mail from outside their riding, and those voting from outside of Canada.
Graphic: CTV News Winnipeg / Background photo source: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh
Winnipeg South Centre saw the highest uptake with mail-in voting, with more than 5,500 kits issued in the riding.
While the deadline to apply to vote by mail has passed, Kenny said it is important that those who applied to vote by mail send their ballot in by Election Day. They can send the ballot by mail, or drop it off at their local Elections Canada office, or return it to their assigned polling station.
SOME VOTERS PLAN TO KEEP VOTING BY MAIL BEYOND THE PANDEMIC
Kenny said it is hard to say whether this spike in mail-in ballots will continue beyond the pandemic.
"We don't know what the future holds as far as pandemics, as far as health issues or safety issues," Kenny said. "So it's hard to say at this point in whether the uptake will be the same in future elections."
As for Kelly and Horbul, they both plan on using the mail-in ballot options in future elections.
"If it is going to be an option for me, I will definitely take it. It is just one less errand I want to call it. One less errand for me to worry about," Kelly said.
"I mean there is some excitement of heading to the polls on Election Day that I might miss, but I think it may be a small sacrifice that I may want to make," Horbul said.
Those who didn't vote at the advanced polls or by mail will have to cast their vote in-person on Election Day on Sept. 20.
Winnipeg Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Although booster shots and third doses of COVID-19 vaccines aren't currently recommended for most Canadians, additional doses are being made available to certain populations or those who need to travel for work based on their province or territory of residence.
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are set to expire on Oct. 23.
Gov. Gen. Mary Simon departs for first international trip, including honour at world's largest trade book fair
Gov. Gen. Mary May Simon set out on her first international trip in that position on Sunday, heading to Germany to meet with officials, as well as attend the world’s largest trade book fair.
The world will consume twice as much seafood by 2050, according to new research. But despite the increased demand, a stronger turn to sustainable fishing could help address malnutrition and lower our overall environmental footprint.
The Chinese military on Sunday condemned the United States and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait last week, saying they were threatening peace and stability in the region.
Having trouble sleeping was commonplace for people with mental illness, according to one of the largest studies of its kind conducted by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Kingston police, with assistance from the OPP riot squad and Durham Regional Police, moved in twice on Saturday to clear students from the streets and homes after declaring an 'aggravated nuisance party'.
A rowdy student party at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. has resulted in multiple arrests and charges as hundreds gathered in the streets for homecoming celebrations over the weekend.
Saskatchewan set a new daily record for COVID-19 ICU patients on Sunday with 84 people currently receiving intensive care, after breaking its existing record on Saturday with 81.
Over 100 people took part in a scavenger hunt across Saskatoon, helping raise money for cystic fibrosis (CF) clinical research.
Saskatchewan is asking other provinces if they have health-care workers they could send if needed in the coming days to help its struggling intensive care units.
The city of Calgary has been covered in election signs as candidates for mayor, city council and school board trustees get their message out to voters about why they should be elected.
Members of Cypress County council are sharing messages of grief over the death of Alfred "Alf" Belyea, as RCMP announced murder charges against his wife.
Fire officials say no one was injured in two separate fires early Sunday morning, both occurring in the city's east end.
Albertans will cast ballots Monday in a referendum that is technically about rejecting equalization but has morphed into more of a Prairie festivus airing of grievances.
Ditching the practice of switching the time twice a year may seem like a no-brainer to some, but Alberta psychologists warn that the result of a provincial referendum could have unexpected consequences.
The Edmonton Elks traded veteran quarterback Trevor Harris to the Montreal Alouettes in a one-for-one exchange.
The Ontario Liberals say they will launch a pilot project to “analyze the potential for a four-day work-week” if elected in June 2022.
An Indigenous author and University of Toronto assistant professor is being featured in a pandemic-era edition of 'Dial-a-Poem,' a project that encourages individuals to call in weekly and listen to writers perform some of their work.
Police are investigating after a Lamborghini wound up smashed and abandoned in the middle of a Montreal boulevard.
The family of an Ottawa man who has been missing since Thursday is offering a $10,000 reward for tips that lead to him being found.
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 35 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19.
While things look a little different as a result of the pandemic, the Northern Game Expo is back for its sixth year and event organizers say they couldn’t be happier.
The organization representing Canada's tourism industry is applauding the U.S. government's decision to allow Canadian travellers with mixed vaccine doses once the border opens in November.
Japan's new prime minister on Sunday said the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant cannot be delayed, despite concerns from local residents.
New Brunswick is reporting three more COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number in the province to 90.
'Glace Bay has been challenged': Funeral held for teen girl who died in Cape Breton, N.S. house fire
Community members and loved ones gathered at a funeral home in Glace Bay, N.S. on Saturday to fondly remember a teenaged girl taken too soon.
Newly stationed plaques in front of the controversial Queen Victoria statue in Kitchener’s Victoria Park are drawing mixed reaction from area residents.
Kitchener, Ont. native Ben Flanagan reached a career milestone on Sunday after taking the top spot at the Canadian 10K Championships in Toronto.
Ontario provincial police are asking the public to help locate a missing 11-year-old girl last seen in Perth County on Friday.
The government of Hong Kong has banned Air Canada flights from Vancouver after a passenger on a recent flight tested positive for COVID-19.
Mounties in Coquitlam are asking the public for help identifying a suspicious man who approached two girls while they were walking home from school last week.
A company formerly contracted to build a wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver, B.C., calls the deal's cancellation “regrettable, unnecessary,” and against the community's interests.
Two public Christmas celebrations on Vancouver Island have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic for a second straight year.
With much of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland under rainfall warnings this weekend, ICBC is warning drivers to be careful.