A downtown riding will see a 75 per cent cut in the number of polling stations open for voters on election day next week.

Torontonians in Spadina-Fort York will only have 29 polling stations to cast their ballots at next Thursday, compared to 116 stations that were available in the 2018 election.

“In 2018 many of the 116 polls included small polls for electors from a specific condo or apartment building only. Nobody else could vote there. In response to COVID-19 concerns, these have been moved into 29 much larger neighborhood locations such as the Enercare Centre, Metro Hall, some hotels and schools,” a spokesperson for Elections Ontario wrote in a statement to CP24 on Thursday.

Elections Ontario says the reduction in polls will make the voting process easier, faster and allow for physical distancing amid the pandemic.

Another difference this year is that polling stations will be equipped with ePoll books and vote tabulators, unlike the apartment and condo polling locations in 2018.

“Electronic poll books (ePoll books) loaded with a digital voters list are used to look up voters and record the issuance of ballots. Tabulators are single-function, purpose-built devices used to scan paper ballots and record results,” the statement said.

In addition, polls will be using a “bank teller” model which will allow voters in line to see the next available polling official, instead of waiting for a polling official for their poll to be free.

Last Sept. in the 2021 federal election, Spadina-Fort York saw massive lines form outside of the limited polling stations available for voters.

Only 24 stations were open for residents in that riding compared to 65 in 2019- a 63 per cent drop.

Elections Canada said the loss of stations was also partly due to finding larger locations to allow for physical distancing.

Advance polls are now open for the provincial election and polls will be open on election day, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.