Handful of votes separate candidates in Sault Ste. Marie as vote count continues
The federal election Monday night still has some drama for voters in Sault Ste. Marie.
While six of northern Ontario's seven federal ridings stayed the same colour, incumbent Terry Sheehan of the Liberals and Sonny Spina of the conservatives are separated by a slim margin.
As of early Tuesday evening, 183 of 184 polls have been counted. Sheehan is still ahead, leading by 55 votes. But with the race so close, no winner will be declared until more than 2,000 mail-in ballots are counted Wednesday.
Speaking at his campaign headquarters late Monday night, Sheehan said he wasn't surprised the race is so close.
"We didn't run any polls but with 24 years of experience, I could just see that it would be tight," he said.
Sheehan said it'll be a nervous few days, as he takes time to reassess his campaign.
"We're going to soak it all in and continue to just sort of, take a look at everything and see what goes next," he said.
Elections Canada said mail-in ballots in particular will take extra time to count. Officials said all the ballots must be verified before they can open them.
"Just the verification of 500 ballots will take three to four hours and then, and only then, will you open the little envelope," said Rejean Grenier of Elections Canada.
Grenier said Wednesday is the earlier the result will be known, but it could take even longer.
"No results for sure until Wednesday, in some cases -- we're hoping not too many -- but in some cases, it might be Thursday," he said.
Conservative candidate Sonny Spina declined to comment, saying he's taking time to rest and reflect with his family on the campaign.