Ontario to Allow Ranked Ballot Option for Municipal Elections

Ontario has passed legislation to give municipalities the option of using ranked ballots in future municipal elections, beginning in 2018.

The Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016 reforms the Municipal Elections Act. It will increase transparency and accountability by:

rankedballotfeatureimageMaking campaign finance rules clearer and easier to follow for voters, candidates and contributors

  • Banning corporate and union contributions to candidates
  • Creating a framework to regulate third-party advertising, including contribution and spending limits, and to define third-party advertising as advertisements supporting or opposing a candidate
  • Shortening the length of campaigns by opening nominations for candidates on May 1 instead of January 1
  • Requiring the municipal clerk to prepare a plan regarding the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that could affect electors and candidates with disabilities
  • Making it easier to add or change certain information on the voters’ list.

“We listened to the calls from voters to ensure that rules for municipal elections reflect the real and evolving needs of our communities,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin said. No Canadian jurisdictions have a ranked ballot system.