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Ontario election 2018: Your voter questions answered

Last Updated Jun 7, 2018 at 8:11 am EST

Elections officials at a polling station during the Ontario provincial election in Mississauga on Oct. 10, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/J.P. Moczulski

Ontarians head to the polls on June 7, and while some have already voted in advance polls, others will be doing so on election day. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the voting process, as well as what’s new this year.

When do I vote?

Advance voting takes from May 10 until June 6 at 6 p.m. at your returning office. On election day, you can vote in-person from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET at your assigned voting location.

Who can vote?

You must be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Canadian citizen
  • A resident of Ontario

Where do I vote?

The number of electoral districts has now increased from 107 to 124, which means your voting location may have changed from the last election in 2014. Elections Ontario provides a list of locations based on your postal code. Click here to find yours.

What do I need to vote?

Bring your Voter Information Card and a piece of identification that has your name on it. Examples of ID include:

  • Driver’s licence or Ontario photo card
  • Bank or credit card statement
  • Utility or phone bills
  • T4 slip or pay stub
  • Or any of the following listed on the Elections Ontario website:

Identification Requirements for Voting in Ontario Provincial Election by 680News on Scribd

What if I did not get my Voter Information Card?

If you are not on the voters’ list and did not receive a card, you will need to bring a piece of identification that indicates both your name as well as residential address. Originals, photocopies or electronic copies of identification documents are all acceptable as ID.

What if I am away from my riding?

If you are not able to vote in-person in your riding, you can vote by special ballot.You will need to complete an application form and provide a copy of your ID, either by mail, email, or fax. The application and ID must be received by Elections Ontario by 6 p.m. ET on June 1.

A special ballot officer will review your application and ID, and if it is approved, a special ballot kit will be mailed to you.

How do I decline my ballot?

You are expected to tell the election official you are declining your right to vote when they hand you a ballot. This must be stated publicly, out loud. The official will then write “declined” on your election documentation. The ballot will not be placed in the ballot box but rather in a separate envelope for declined ballots.

What’s new this year?

For the first time in a provincial election in Ontario, electronic poll books (e-poll books) and vote tabulators are being used across the province. Elections Ontario says the new technology should help speed up both the voting and ballot-counting process.

How do I vote?

When you show up at a polling station, a machine will scan your registration card. Then you will receive a ballot from an official, fill it out and hand it back to the official operating the tabulator, who will put it through the tabulating machine.

Will the electoral official see my ballot?

No. On its website, Elections Ontario says after you mark your ballot, you will place it in a secrecy folder.

The person operating the tabulator will then feed the ballot face down into the tabulating machine.

How are the votes tabulated?

Vote tabulators electronically count each ballot and a report with the results is printed after polls close at 9 p.m. ET.

Can I take a selfie with my ballot?

Absolutely not. Taking a picture of a completed ballot, whether it is yours or someone else’s, is a violation of the Election Act. You are also not permitted to publish the photo on social media or elsewhere.

Information compiled from Elections Ontario, with files from Dilshad Burman and The Canadian Press