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Elections Canada reports higher voter turnout for advance polls this weekend

An unidentified woman casts her ballot for Canada's federal election as voters wait to collect their ballots at an advanced polling station in Toronto on Friday, October 9 , 2015.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

The opening day of advance polls brought out a big increase in the number of voters casting ballots ahead of the Oct. 19 election.

Elections Canada says it estimates some 850,000 people voted on Friday, the first day of advance polls.

The agency says that is a 26 per cent increase over the first day of advance polls in the 2011 election and a 90 per cent increase over the first day of advance polls in 2008.

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There were long line-ups reported on Friday at polling sections.

There were concerns that the Conservative government's changes to election laws to tighten identification requirements could create snags for certain Canadians, but Elections Canada said it has been trying to ensure everyone who wants to vote would get a chance to do so.

Advance polls are open throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.

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