Frequently Asked Questions
Eligibility to VoteMy family owns a cottage. Can I vote in that municipality?
In order to qualify as a non-resident elector, you (or your spouse) must be the owner or tenant of the property. If a family member who is not your spouse is the owner, and you have use of the cottage, you would not qualify as a non-resident elector. If the cottage is owned by a trust, you would not qualify as a non-resident elector.
My company owns a property in another municipality. Can I vote there?
If the business is the owner of the property, you would not qualify as a non-resident elector.
I live in one municipality and own property in another municipality. Do I have to choose which municipality to vote in?
You are eligible to vote in the municipality where you live, and the municipality where you qualify as a non-resident elector. You can vote in both municipalities. If both municipalities are in the same school board, you can only vote for school trustee in one municipality.
I live in one ward and own a property in another ward of the same municipality. Can I choose which ward I want to vote in?
No. You must vote in the ward where you live.
If I forget to bring identification to the voting place, can I still vote?
If you don’t have identification, and your name is on the voters’ list, you can fill out and sign a statutory declaration that you are the person shown on the list. If your name is not on the voters’ list, you may be required to show identification in order to have your name put on the list.
If I don’t have identification at the voting place, can someone vouch for me?
No. Vouching is not permitted in municipal and school board elections.
Can I be a proxy for a family member and someone who is not a family member?
No. If you are appointed as the proxy for a person who is not a family member, that is the only person that you can be a proxy for.
Can I be a proxy for more than one family member?
Yes. You can be appointed as the proxy for more than one family member, as long as the family member is your spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent or grandchild.
Can a person in prison vote?
No. A person who is serving a sentence in prison is not entitled to vote.
How do I get on the voters’ list?
The voters’ list is put together for each election based on information that is held by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). One way to help make sure that your name will be on the voters’ list is to contact MPAC and confirm that they have your information: http://www.mpac.on.ca/property_owners/contactus.asp
After the voters’ list comes out at the beginning of September, you can apply to the municipal clerk to have your name added up until the close of voting on voting day.
I’m on the voters’ list, but my information is wrong. Can I get it corrected?
You can have your information corrected up until the close of voting on voting day. You should contact your municipal clerk for more information.
I don’t want my name on the voters’ list. Can I get it removed?
You can have your name removed from the voters’ list, but you will not be able to vote unless you have your name put back on the list.
Can I remove someone else’s name from the voters’ list?
You can apply to the clerk to have someone else’s name removed from the list, but you can only do so between September 2 and September 12, 2014. The clerk is required to hold a hearing to determine if the name should be removed, unless you want to remove the name because the person has died.
CandidatesCan a person with a criminal record run for municipal office?
Yes. The only eligibility requirements relate to citizenship, age, and having a qualifying address in the municipality.
Why is a person who doesn’t live in my ward allowed to be a candidate for ward councillor?
A candidate must be qualified to run in the municipality. They do not have to have a qualifying address in a specific ward. This is consistent with provincial and federal elections, where a candidate must reside in Ontario (or Canada, respectively), but does not need to reside in a specific riding. Any candidate who is elected by the voters in a ward is accountable to those electors, since they are the ones who will either vote for him or her again, or choose to vote for someone else in the next election.
What can I do if I feel that a candidate does not have the right experience, background, or expertise to run for office?
The only eligibility requirements relate to citizenship, age, and qualifying address. If you feel that a candidate would not make a good elected official, you should vote for someone else.
Supporting a candidate
When can I put up an election sign?
Election signs may be regulated by your municipality’s sign bylaw. You should contact your municipal clerk for more information.
Can I get an income tax credit for my contribution to a candidate?
No. Contributions to municipal and school board candidates are not tax deductible. Your municipality may have a contribution rebate program.
Do all municipalities give contribution rebates?
No. It is up to each municipality to decide if there will be a contribution rebate program. You should contact your municipal clerk to see if your municipality has such a program.
Can I contribute to more than one candidate?
Yes. You can contribute up to $750 to any one candidate ($2,500 to candidates running for mayor of Toronto), and you can contribute a maximum of $5,000 to candidates running for the same council or school board.
Can I give cash to a candidate?
Only contributions of $25 or less may be made in cash. All contributions above $25 must be made by cheque, money order, or by a method that clearly shows where the funds came from.
Can I make a contribution anonymously?
Candidates cannot accept anonymous contributions that are more than $10.
Questions on the Ballot
Are citizen-initiated questions allowed on the ballot? Can I circulate a petition to make council put a question the ballot?
No. Only council, the school board, or the Minister can put a question on the ballot. A citizen may ask a council to put a question on the ballot, but council is not obliged to agree to the request.
Can council put a non-binding question on the ballot to find out how people feel about an issue?
No. All questions asked by the municipality have the potential to be binding. The result is non-binding if less than 50 per cent of eligible voters vote on the question.