A relatively large number of Canadians -- almost one in five eligible -- voted early in hotly contested upcoming elections on September 20, Elections Canada said Tuesday.
According to the preliminary figures, the independent agency said in a statement, nearly 5.8 million electors voted at advance polls from Friday to Monday.
That represents an 18.46 percent increase from the previous general election in 2019, it said.
The agency has indicated that it is also expecting a larger than usual number of mail-in ballots due to the pandemic.
With one week to go before the snap legislative elections, Justin Trudeau's Liberals are in a virtual tie with the Conservatives led by Erin O'Toole, according to public opinion polls.
The 49-year-old Trudeau himself called the election, hoping to again secure a ruling majority in the House of Commons, which he lost in 2019.
Worn out after six years in office, and weakened by a series of political scandals, however, the one-time golden boy of Canadian politics has lost some of his luster.
On the campaign trail, he has been dogged by protesters, many of them enraged by his proposal for mandatory vaccines. Two demonstrators have been charged, respectively, with making threats and assault for throwing stones at the premier.© 2021 AFP