"For us, it's standard operating procedure," he said, referring to recounts, at a news conference in Ottawa. "The law requires that there be a recount before a judge and all recounts are before a judge in this country."
Polls show the Liberals and Tories are neck and neck as the campaign enters its final days. Many ridings are too close to call, and Elections Canada officials are prepared for recount requests.
It takes seven days to validate the results in any given riding. Under the Canada Elections Act, a recount request must be made within four days of validation.
The judge has four days to grant it or not, and if granted, the recount might take two or three days.
There is an automatic recount if the first- and second-place candidates are separated by less than 0.1 per cent of the total votes cast in their electoral district.
For example, if fewer than 100 votes separated the two top candidates in a riding where 100,000 ballots were cast, there would be an automatic recount.
University of Toronto political scientist Nelson Wiseman said Monday's election will be a squeaker, but he doubts it will be so close that recounts will delay the overall results for days.
"It's going to be closer than any race we've had since 1972," he said. In 1972, former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau won over Tory leader Robert Stanfield by 109 to 107 ridings.
"There's a chance we'll go to bed Monday night not knowing who the prime minister is," University of Calgary political scientist David Taras said.
Elections Canada officials are bracing for a heavy turnout.
"We have developed the worst-case scenario based on our experience in 2000," Mr. Kingsley said.
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"With three days to go in the campaign, the polls are telling us that this is the closest election since the 1970s. So close that for the first time in 25 years, there are those who say that we could be facing a minority government," Liberal Leader Paul Martin to supporters.
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"So I don't see why we would get into this field," he said.
"I do think one day technology will be developed to make the process entirely secure or secure enough to be able to vote through the Internet."