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How to vote in the 2022 Ontario provincial election


Answering all your questions about the 2022 Ontario provincial election in one stop

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Elections Ontario is touting ways to beat the crowds for a pandemic-era provincial election including a new online process to apply for a mail-in ballot and 10 days of advanced voting instead of five.

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Ontario only had about 10,000 people vote by mail in the 2018 provincial election, but 300,000 of the mail-in ballots came from Ontario in the 2021 federal election.

Chief electoral officer Greg Essensa is hoping many voters consider avoiding ballot boxes on election day.

“I think one of the things that we’re really trying to do this election is really look at flattening the curve of the vote,” he said in an interview, noting that that up to 90 per cent of Ontario voters traditionally cast their ballot in person on election day.

But “we want electors to vote when it’s convenient for them, when the time is right for them, ensuring that they can come and vote in a safe, secure fashion.

“Really, that’s our ultimate goal.”

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Read on for the when, where and how of voting in Ontario — and check out our reporters’ riding profiles for the why.

-with files from The Canadian Press


Frequently Asked Questions


When is the election?

Election day is June 2. Elections happen every four years in Ontario with the process starting when the premier visits the Lieutenant Governor to say they want to call an election. What’s known as the writs of election are put together for each of 124 electoral districts as official notice that the election process is underway. Once the writs of election are issued, the campaign begins and lasts 28 days.

Who are the candidates running in Ottawa?

See our series of riding profiles:

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How do I find out where my riding is?

To find your electoral district, enter your postal code in the Elections Ontario Voter Information Service online tool. This handy tool will show you your electoral district name, electoral district number, who the current MPP is, plus maps and more general information.

How do I register to vote?

Canadian citizens living in Ontario and who will be at least 18 years old on election day can use Elections Ontario eRegistration to add themselves to the voters list or confirm that their info is up to date.

Or submit an application and return it to Elections Ontario by mail or e-mail. Download the Elections Ontario Application to the Voters List pdf, fill it out, and send it in by May 23.

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Once the election has been called, you’ll get a voter information card with information on when and where to vote.

Voters who aren’t yet on the voters list can register in person when they go to vote.

How do I vote?

You can vote in person on election day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the voting location assigned to you based on your current residential address, at an advanced voting location or before voting day at your returning office, or by mail.

There are also special measures for voters who need a home visit to cast their ballot, are in hospital, are students or are deployed with the Canadian Forces.

For all the details, visit the Elections Ontario Ways to Vote page.

Or download the Elections Ontario app and create an account to get (once the election has been called) a scannable version of your voter information card, full list of your voting locations and dates and a list of candidates for your electoral district

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Can I vote online?

No.

How do I vote by mail?

The application to vote by mail will be available on May 4 with the deadline to apply at 6 p.m. ET on May 27. Elections Ontario must receive your completed voting kit — which will be sent to you once your application is reviewed and approved — by 6 p.m. on June 2.

You can register online or return the application by mail or email.

How does advance voting work?

You can vote at any of the advance voting locations in your electoral district, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Or vote in in person at your local returning office from the day after an election has been called in your electoral district until 6 p.m. the day before Election day.  Depending on when you go, you’ll get either a write-in ballot or a ballot with the candidates listed.

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What ID do I need to bring with me to vote?

If you are on the voters list, you need to present your voter information card and one piece of ID with your name. If you are not on the voters list, you need one piece of ID showing both your name and current address.

How old do you have to be to vote?

You must be 18 years of age or older. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can add yourself to the Ontario Register of Future Voters and the information will be automatically transferred to the voters list when you turn 18.

Can newcomers to Canada vote in the provincial election?

You must be a Canadian citizen as well as a resident of Ontario to be eligible to vote in an Ontario election.

Elections Ontario provides information about voting in other languages — 38 to be exact.

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Can I vote if I’m out of the province?

If you’re temporarily living outside of Ontario, you may be eligible to register as an absentee voter.

Can I get time off work to vote?

Yes — if your work hours don’t give you three consecutive hours to vote while the polls are open (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Under Ontario’s Election Act, employees can ask for time off to vote and can’t lose pay but employers can grant the time off at a time “that best suits the convenience of the employer.”

For example: as Ottawa-based employment law firm Emond-Harden explained in an online post, if an employee works from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., they don’t need time off because they have three hours after work to vote (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.). But if a worker is on shift from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the employer must give time off, so the employee has three consecutive hours to vote; this could mean letting them leave work an hour early at 6 p.m.

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Can you vote if you have no fixed address?

Yes. If you don’t have a permanent residence, the place where you have returned most often to eat or sleep in the past five weeks is considered your home. If you don’t have ID showing both your name and address, Elections Ontario has a temporary identification form called a Certificate of Identity and Residence. Talk to the administrator of the housing help centre or food bank that you use most often to get one, Elections Ontario said.

Who can make financial contributions to a campaign?

Elections Ontario’s rules on Eligible Contributors states that contributions to political parties, constituency associations, candidates, leadership and nomination contestants may only be made by people who normally live in Ontario using their own funds. Anonymous contributions are not allowed.

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What is the maximum an individual can donate?

In the 2022 calendar year, you can contribute up to a limit of $3,325 in categories including:

• to each registered political party;
• a combined limit to all constituency associations and nomination contestants for each registered political party or to each constituency association endorsed by an independent member;
• across all registered candidates of any one registered party and to all registered independent candidates not endorsed by a registered party;
• to each registered leadership contestant.

How does this work in practice?  Business law firm McMillan LLP explains in an online article called Show Me the Money: Contributions and Doing Business During an Ontario Election: “For example, an individual eligible donor, if they so choose, could give $3,325 to every single political party. The donor could also give a total of $3,325 to one or several nomination contestants or electoral associations from the same political party; they could then donate a maximum of $3,325 in the same way for every other political party. The donor could also give up to a total of $3,325 to a registered candidate, or multiple candidates, from the same political party; they could then do the same for the registered candidate(s) of every other political party. If they wanted to support non-party affiliated candidates, they could also contribute a total of $3,325 to all such non-party candidates. Finally, the donor could also contribute $3,325 to each leadership contestant of a registered party.”

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