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How you can become involved in the Ontario election

Friday May 30, 2014
The Ontario election will determine which candidate in each riding will have a seat at Queen’s Park, home of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It is the site where provincial laws are debated and/or passed.

What is the process?

The Premier of Ontario informs the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario that he or she would like to call an election.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario then prepares the writs of election. The Lieutenant Governor signs the writs. Ontario is divided into 107 specific areas called electoral districts and a writ is sent to the Returning Officer in each electoral district.

During the general election, people vote for the candidate they feel will best represent their electoral district as their Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). To become an MPP, a candidate must win the most votes in the electoral district. The political party with the most elected MPPs usually forms the new provincial government.

MPPs represent the people in their electoral district in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. When all the MPPs meet in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, they make the laws that govern the province.

In between general elections, a by-election can be held to replace an MPP who has left the Legislative Assembly before the end of term. A by-election is held only in the electoral district the MPP represented and only electors who reside in that electoral district can vote.

Who can vote?
To be eligible to vote in a provincial election, you must be:

● at least 18 years of age on election day; AND
● a Canadian citizen; AND
● a resident of Ontario.

How do I register to vote?
If you are eligible to vote, you first need to add your name and address to the Voters List. The process is easy: show ID that proves your name and where you reside, and fill out a form. During an election, you can do this at a voting location or at the returning office for your electoral district. Between elections, you can contact Elections Ontario at 1.888.668.8683 to get added.

Once registered, you can vote.

How do I vote?
● In person on election day: Polls open for 12 hours on election day—from 9 AM to 9 PM (ET).
● In person at an Advance Poll
● In person or by mail using Special ballot: Special ballot allows you to vote either by mail or in person at your local returning office.
● Using Assistive Voting Technology: Assistive voting technology is available at advance polls in returning offices and satellite offices from the first day of advance polls through to the day before election day.

Options include the audio tactile interface (ATI), paddles and a sip & puff device. Audio instructions are available for each choice.

What happens at the poll?
● An election official greets you and directs you to your poll.
● Show your identification to the poll officials, and they cross your name off the Voters List.
● You are given a ballot that has the poll official’s initials on the back.
● Go behind a voting screen to mark your ballot. Choose only one candidate on the ballot.
● Hand your folded ballot back to the poll official to check for the initials.
● Place your folded ballot in the ballot box.

For more information, contact: 1.888.668.8683 | TTY 1.888.292.2312 | info@elections.on.ca

Or go to: www.elections.on.ca

Information courtesy of Elections Ontario.


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