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McGuinty in good spirits as Ontarians head to the polls

Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty is accompanied by his wife Terri while casting his ballot in the provincial election at Featherston Public School in Ottawa Oct. 6, 2011.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail/Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty went to a public school in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Alta Vista where he grew up to cast his ballot on Thursday afternoon.

Sporting a tattersall shirt, blazer and blue jeans, a relaxed looking Mr. McGuinty said he was feeling good as he arrived with his wife, Terri, who has been at his side throughout the campaign.

"I tried to keep it as positive as I could," Mr. McGuinty told reporters. "I'm satisfied that we've done everything that we could during the course of the campaign."

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Even though he has led the province for eight years, Mr. McGuinty followed the same rules as every other voter – he produced his driver's license to verify his identity.

"Here goes," he said, dropping his ballot into the box. "Gone."

Next, it was Ms. McGuinty's turn.

"Need any advice?" her husband joked.

Unlike his rivals, Mr. McGuinty is not spending voting day at a number of public events. The photo-op at Lord Featherstone Public School – one in which he has rolled out his signature full-day kindergarten program – is his only media event before the polls close this evening.

He will be spending the afternoon at home, surrounded by his extended family – his nine brothers and sisters and their children.

"It's a good excuse to bring family together," said Mr. McGuinty, who is very close to his siblings. His younger brother, Brendan, has also been with him on the campaign.

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Other siblings arrived earlier this week from their homes in Vancouver, Atlanta and Houston, and will all be making a concerted push to get Liberal supporters out to the polls.

Mr. McGuinty will also spend the afternoon calling candidates.

"We're not going to take anything for granted," he said. "I was on the bus earlier today, phoning my candidates...and encouraging them just to go out there and get out that vote."

On the flight from Toronto to Ottawa with reporters, Mr. McGuinty was in a good mood and indulged in a rare Snickers chocolate bar.

"Once every four years," he joked.

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About the Author

Karen Howlett is a national reporter based in Toronto. She returned to the newsroom in 2013 after covering Ontario politics at The Globe’s Queen’s Park bureau for seven years. Prior to that, she worked in the paper’s Vancouver bureau and in The Report on Business, where she covered a variety of beats, including financial services and securities regulation. More

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