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How to cast your ballot

It is up to your municipal council to decide what methods will be used to cast votes in the election. Voting methods that have been used in Ontario municipal elections include: 

  • traditional voting (you go to a voting place and mark a paper ballot) 
  • alternative voting, such as: 
  • touch screen voting (you go to a voting place and vote by touching a screen) 
    • vote by mail 
    • vote by phone 
    • vote by Internet

The municipal council must decide by June 1, 2014 which voting method or methods will be used in the election. If an alternative voting method is used, the municipal clerk is responsible for establishing the policies and procedures for voting, and for informing electors how to cast their ballot.

For more information on how to cast a vote in your municipality, please contact your municipal clerk.

When to vote

Voting day is October 27, 2014.

Your municipality may have one or more days of advance voting.

On voting day, voting places must be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Your council may pass a bylaw allowing a voting place to open early on voting day.

Where to vote

Voting places are chosen by your municipal clerk. The Act requires that all voting places be accessible to electors with disabilities.

For more information on voting in your municipality, please contact your municipal clerk.

Taking time off to vote

You are entitled to have three hours in which to vote on voting day. If your job requires you to work hours that would not give you a three-hour period in which to vote, you are allowed to be absent from your job for enough time to give you that three-hour period.

Please note: This does not mean that you are entitled to take three hours off of work.

Voting hours are normally from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. If your working hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., you could be entitled to leave one hour early so that you would have from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to vote.

Your employer may decide when it would be most convenient for you to be absent in order to vote. For example, if you work from noon to 6 p.m., your employer may decide that you should come in at 1 p.m., rather than leave work at 5 p.m.

Appointing a Proxy

If, for any reason, you will be unable to get to a voting place to cast your ballot, you may wish to appoint someone to go to the voting place and cast a ballot on your behalf. This person is called your voting proxy.

To appoint a voting proxy, you and the person you want to appoint must fill out the Appointment for Voting Proxy Form (Form 3). Please see Where to Find Forms for links to forms.

You must know who you want to appoint as your proxy when you fill out the form. The person you want to appoint must be eligible to vote in the election, and should be someone you trust to mark the ballot the way you have instructed them to.

You cannot appoint a proxy until after nomination day (September 12, 2014).

Note: Voting by proxy may not be available if your municipality is using an alternative method of voting such as vote by mail, telephone or internet.

Being a Proxy

If someone has appointed you as their voting proxy you must take the completed form to the municipal clerk to get it certified. Once the form has been certified, you may cast a vote on behalf of the person who appointed you.

If you are appointed as the proxy for a family member you may also be appointed as the proxy for additional family members. Note: “Family member” refers to a spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent or grandchild. There is no limit to the number of times you may be appointed, but you may only be appointed for family members. You may not be appointed as a proxy for a non-family member if you are appointed as a proxy for family members.

If you are appointed as the proxy for a person who is not a family member, you may not be appointed as a proxy for anyone else, including family members.

Note: The only time you can vote on someone else’s behalf is if the other person has appointed you as their voting proxy. If you have power of attorney, or if you are acting as that person’s executor or in any other representative capacity, you are not entitled to vote to on their behalf unless they have also appointed you as their proxy.