Smithers voters join Canadians across the country casting their ballots in 42nd federal election today.

Smithers voters play their part on election day

A steady flow of voters are streaming into the St. Joseph's School voting station today.

A steady flow of voters are streaming into the St Joseph’s School voting station in Smithers today, playing their part in determining the outcome of Canada’s longest federal election campaign since 1872.

Today’s election will conclude a marathon 78-day campaign that started on Aug. 2, when Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper dropped the writ in Ottawa.

Smithers resident Judy Morgan was among those who converged on the school voting station this morning.

She said she always took the opportunity to vote on election day.

“I think we are so fortunate and blessed to live in a democratic society where we actually have a say in who is our leader and I think it’s a right and a privilege that everyone should participate in,” said Morgan.

Morgan said over the years she had changed who she voted for to favour the party with the best leadership qualities.

Jessica Vandergaag, also from Smithers, said her vote was influenced primarily by who was leading the party.

She said the political climate had never changed enough to persuade her to change how she voted.

“I vote for the person who shows that they care about the most vulnerable members of society such as unborn children, sick, elderly,” she said.

“If they care about the most vulnerable members much more then they care about everyone.”

Close to twice as many voters cast ballots in advance polling here in our local riding in 2015, compared to the last federal election.

Preliminary estimates show that 8,322 voters cast their ballots in the electoral district of Skeena-Bulkley Valley during the four days of advance voting Oct. 9-12, according to numbers released by Elections Canada on Oct. 14.

In advance voting in the last election in 2011, a total of 4,553 voters cast ballots in Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

In B.C., a preliminary number of 507,920 people are estimated to have turned out for this federal election’s advance voting compared to 259,278 in the last federal election’s final figures.

In all, 3,633,422 Canadians are estimated to have voted in advance polls. Skeena-Bulkley Valley incumbent Nathan Cullen (NDP) and Liberal candidate Brad Layton will be at their campaign offices in Smithers when the election unfolds tonight.

Conservative Party candidate Tyler Nesbitt will be joined by supporters at a gathering in Terrace, while the Christian Heritage Party’s Don Spratt will be at a private residence in Telkwa.

Green Party candidate Jeannie Parnell plans to watch the election with friends at her home in Prince Rupert.

For more information about how and where to vote visit elections.ca.

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