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Voters

Find out about voting eligibility, required ID, advance voting and other information for voters. Voting locations will be made available in the months leading up to Voting Day.

Voting eligibility

Ottawa’s municipal elections will be held on Monday, October 27, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eligible electors will be casting ballots for the following offices:

  • Mayor
  • City Councillor
  • school board Trustee

Who can vote?

 You must be a qualified elector to vote in the municipal elections. That means, on Voting Day you must be:

  • a resident of the City of Ottawa, or an owner or tenant of land in the City, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old; and
  • not prohibited from voting by law.

 If you are not a resident of the City of Ottawa, to vote for a school board Trustee, you must be:

  • an owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction of the school board, who does not support any other board.

All voters will be required to present a prescribed proof of identity and residence in order to receive a ballot at their voting location. Voters who cannot present an acceptable proof of identity and residence will have to make a statutory declaration.

Voters' List

The City of Ottawa’s Voters’ List is compiled from information received from Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corporation and will be available for review at the City’s Elections Office and Client Service Centres from Tuesday, September 2 to Monday, October 27, 2014, during normal business hours. If you are not on the Voters’ List, you will be required to complete an application to add your name to the Voters’ List which may delay the voting process. 

Additional Information

Consult the 2014 Voters’ Guide created by The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. This guide was created to provide voters with general information in plain language concerning the rules and constraints of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations.

Additional information on voting locations, Advance Voting Days and voting by proxy will be made available in the months leading up to Voting Day.

For more information, contact the Elections Office.

Voter Identification requirements

Identification is needed to vote in the 2014 municipal elections. The requirements are the same for electors who wish to have a proxy vote on their behalf. 

One piece of identification is needed

A single, original piece of identification must be presented that shows your name and qualifying Ottawa address (where you currently live or own property). There is no longer a requirement to show identification with a signature. 

You must present one of the following documents showing your name and address:

  • Ontario driver’s licence 
  • Ontario Health Card (with address) 
  • Ontario Photo Card 
  • Ontario motor vehicle permit (vehicle portion) 
  • A cancelled personalized cheque 
  • A mortgage statement, lease or rental agreement relating to property in Ontario 
  • An insurance policy or insurance statement 
  • A loan agreement or other financial agreement with a financial institution 
  • A document issued or certified by a court in Ontario 
  • Any other document from the government of Canada, Ontario or a municipality in Ontario or from an agency or such a government 
  • Any document from a Band Council in Ontario established under the Indian Act (Canada) 
  • An income tax assessment notice 
  • A Child Tax Benefit Statement 
  • A Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid T4E 
  • A Statement of Old Age Security T4A (OAS) 
  • A Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits T4A (P) 
  • A Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions 
  • A Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Works 
  • A Statement of Direct Deposit for Ontario Disability Support Program 
  • A Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Statement of Benefits T5007
  • A property tax assessment 
  • A credit card statement, bank account statement, or RRSP, RRIF, RHOSP or T5 statement 
  • A CNIB Card or a card from another registered charitable organization that provides services to persons with disabilities 
  • A hospital card or record 
  • A document showing campus residence, issued by the office or officials responsible for student residence at a post-secondary institution 
  • A document showing residence at a long-term care home under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, issued by the Administrator for the home 
  • A utility bill for hydro, water, gas, telephone or cable TV or a bill from a public utilities commission 
  • A cheque stub, T4 statement or pay receipt issued by an employer 
  • A transcript or report card from a post-secondary school

Advance voting

On March 26, 2014, Ottawa City Council approved the dates and times for advance voting. 

*NEW* Special Advance Voting

New this year is a Special Advance Voting period. Unlike traditional Advance Voting where an elector can vote at any of their assigned voting locations, Special Advance Voting locations will be open to all City electors.

When?

  • Wednesday, October 1, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
  • Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and
  • Friday, October 3, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where?

  • City Hall, Jean Pigott Place, 110 Laurier Ave W
  • Ben Franklin Place, Room 1A, 101 Centrepointe Dr
  • OPL - Cumberland Branch, Lori Nash Room, 1599 Tenth Line Rd

Traditional Advance Vote Days

Electors will also have an opportunity to vote in their Ward on a traditional advance vote day.

Advance Vote Day 1

  • Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Advance Vote Day 2

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voting Day

Voting Day is Monday, October 27, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voting by proxy

If you are unable to vote on October 27 or on any of the Advance Vote Days, you can appoint a proxy. A proxy is a person who is an eligible voter and whom you trust to vote on your behalf.  A proxy can represent multiple members of his or her immediate family, but only one individual who is not a member of his or her immediate family.

How to appoint a proxy

To appoint a proxy, you have to fill in an Appointment for Voting Proxy form. You can appoint a voting proxy commencing on September 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. until Monday, October 27, 2014 during regular business hours.  Your proxy must bring the form to the Elections OfficeOttawa City Hall or any Client Service Centre during regular business hours, along with proof of his or her identity, and have it certified by City staff.  In addition, a voting proxy may be appointed between noon and 5 p.m. on Advance Vote Days. 

Deadline for appointing a proxy

All voting proxies must be appointed before 4:30 p.m. on Voting Day. 

Video: How to vote

Monday, October 27, 2014 is municipal Voting Day. Voters will elect a Mayor, 23 City Councillors and school board Trustees for four school boards.

Voting is quick and easy when you are prepared.

If you received a Voter Notification in the mail, bring it with you along with identification to your assigned voting place. Once at the voting place, you will be greeted by an Elections Worker who will ask to see your Voter Notification and will direct you to the table of the appropriate Deputy Returning Officer’s table.

If you need any assistance, an Elections Worker will be happy to help you. Once at the Deputy Returning Officer’s table, you will be asked for your Voter Notification and a piece of identification showing your name and qualifying Ottawa address.

The DRO will check your identification against the Voters’ List and cross your name off the list. The DRO will hand you your ballot along with a privacy sleeve. They will explain to you how to mark your ballot by filling in the oval next to the candidate of your choice. You will then be directed to the voting screen. At the voting screen, review the instructions on how to mark your ballot.

You can vote once for Mayor and once for Councillor. You may also be entitled to vote once for school board Trustee. Place your marked ballot in the privacy sleeve and take it to the Supporting DRO who will then feed your ballot into the vote tabulator.

Once your ballot is accepted by the machine, you have successfully voted.

Voting closes at 8 p.m. on October 27th. Later that night, visit Ottawa.ca/vote for elections results, as they become available.

"Make Your Mark" brochure

The Make Your Mark brochure will be included with your Voter Notification. The brochure covers a variety of subjects including special advance voting days and our new "Ottawa Elections 2014" App. 

 Image of the “Make your Mark” brochure. Brochure includes information on special advance voting days, what offices to vote for, eligibility to vote, accessibility initiatives for 2014 Elections, how to check if an elector is on the voter’s list, and what identification is needed to vote. 

Brochure Contents:

 Make Your Mark

When you vote, you are exercising your democratic right and adding your voice to the community. Make your mark.

Mark your calendar

Special Advance Vote Days:

  • October 1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • October 2 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • October 3 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Advance Vote Days:

  • October 9 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • October 18 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voting Day:

  • October 27 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

What’s New for 2014

Special Advance Vote opportunities

This new voting period will offer electors additional opportunities to cast their ballot at any one of three locations across the City thereby increasing convenience and accessibility. Ballots for all wards will be available at all locations.

Special Advance Voting locations are:

  • Ottawa City Hall, Jean Pigott Place
  • Ben Franklin Place, Room 1A
  • Ottawa Public Library, Cumberland Branch, Lori Nash Room

Ottawa Vote Mobile App

The City of Ottawa’s Elections Office has launched a mobile app that allows electors to stay up-to-date with the latest election information while on the go.

The “Ottawa Elections 2014” app is free and available for download on Apple, Android and Blackberry devices.

Follow us on Twitter

@ottawavote / @ottawavotez

 Offices to vote for

You will be voting for a candidate for Mayor, (elected at large) and a Councillor, (one elected per ward). You may also be entitled to vote for a school board Trustee (one elected per school board zone).

Are you eligible to vote?

To be eligible to vote you must be (as of October 27, 2014):

  • a resident of the City of Ottawa, or an owner or tenant of land in the City, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old; and
  • not prohibited from voting by law

Post-secondary students are eligible to vote at both their temporary Ottawa address while attending college or university and at their permanent address in another municipality.

 Accessibility in 2014

 The Accessible Vote Tabulators (AVT)

This technology counts and stores votes and allows all electors, including electors with disabilities, to mark their ballot privately and independently.

Features include:

  • a 19-inch screen with high contrast and a zoom function to enlarge type size
  • tactile buttons with Braille
  • a sip/puff device
  • a rocker paddle
  • audio function to enable electors to hear candidate choices through headphones

Where to use the AVT?

On Special Advance Vote Days (October 1 to 3). On Advance Vote Days (October 9 & 18). The AVT will be at all area-wide voting places.  Please call Elections Office for specific locations.

On Voting Day (October 27). The AVT will be at all seniors’ residences and long-term care facilities.

Check to see if you’re on the Voters’ List

To ensure your correct name and qualifying address are on the list, check online at ottawa.ca/vote or at the Elections Office and all Client Service Centres from September 2 to October 27.2014

If your name does not appear or your information is incorrect?

  1. Complete an Application to Add or Amend My Name on the Voters’ List form (available at the Elections Office, any Client Service Centre or downloadable online at ottawa.ca/vote)
  2. Submit the completed form:
  • by September 16, mail the form to the Elections Office or drop it off at any Client Service Centre
  • from September 17 to October 27, complete the form in advance and bring to your voting location

 Identification required:

Identification is needed to vote in the 2014 municipal election. These requirements also pertain to electors who have someone vote on their behalf as a proxy.

Method one:

One single, original, or a certified or notarial copy of a document shows the person’s name and qualifying address. For examples, visit ottawa.ca/voterID or call the Elections Office at 613-580-2660.

Method two:

If a person does not have any documents, that person may complete a Declaration of Identity form available at the voting location.

  Someone else can vote for you (Voting by proxy)

If you are unable to vote, you can have a friend or family member appointed to vote for you. To appoint a proxy, you have to fill in an Appointment for Voting Proxy form  available at the Elections Office or any Client Service Centre.

See dates, times and process for appointing a voting proxy at ottawa.ca/proxy

A proxy must be a qualified voter within the City of Ottawa and can represent multiple members of his or her immediate family, but only one individual who is not a member of his or her immediate family.

Campaigning and sign restrictions

Election sign questions?

Call 3-1-1
TTY: 613-580-2401

Restrictions on public property

The first day an election sign can be placed on public property is September 27, 2014.

City of Ottawa Road Allowance Signage By-law - City of Ottawa By-law 2003-520, as amended, states:

  1. No person shall place an election sign on a highway other than on an inner boulevard, provided that the sign is not placed more than thirty (30) days immediately preceding the election date.
  2. No sign is placed within fifty (50) centimetres of a sidewalk, or where there is no sidewalk, within two (2) metres of the roadway or within fifty (50) centimetres of the edge of a shoulder where such exists.
  3. The sign and its components are removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.
  4. Dimension requirements [By-law 2003-520] do not apply to an election sign.

Restrictions on private property

The first day an election sign can be placed on private property is August 28, 2014.

City of Ottawa By-law 2004-239, Sections 14 and 21, states that every candidate in an election shall ensure that his or her election sign:

  1. Is not placed more than sixty (60) days immediately preceding the election date.
  2. Together with its components are removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.
  3. Dimension requirements [By-law 2004-239] do not apply to an election sign.

Note: It is forbidden to use election signs that constitute a safety hazard or utilize any sign type identified as a prohibited sign in any of the above listed by-laws.

Area around a voting place

When a voting place is located within public premises, the entire property of the voting place and all the boundaries associated with it are considered part of that voting place.

When a voting place is located on private premises, such as apartment or condominium buildings, all of the common elements of those buildings are considered part of the voting place. Individual units, however, are not considered common elements and their doors, windows, balconies, etc., do not fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Ottawa.

On both public and private premises, "premises" includes the parking lot, adjoining fences and adjacent road allowances. The City of Ottawa utilizes only a specific area for a voting place and has no jurisdiction over adjacent properties, for example, over political signs posted on street corners or passing cars advertising a candidate.

No campaigning at a voting place

The Municipal Elections Act stipulates that no person shall attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, how the elector votes and no person shall display a candidate’s election campaign material or literature in a voting place.

Clothing or accessories that identify a candidate, such as, signs, buttons, slogans, logos, advertising, etc., are not permitted. Voting screens will be checked regularly for markings and campaign literature.

The Supervisor Deputy Returning Officer is the final arbiter and may take whatever action is deemed necessary to maintain compliance in the voting place.

Election sign regulations on provincial highways

Please contact the Ministry of Transportation for regulations governing election signs on provincial highways.

Election sign regulations on National Capital Commission lands

Please contact the National Capital Commission for regulations governing election signs on its lands.  

Voter Frequently Asked Questions

When are the 2014 municipal elections?

The 2014 municipal elections are being held on Monday, October 27, 2014. You can cast your ballot between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Voting Day. 

Will there be advance voting?

If you are going to be out of town or it’s more convenient to vote on another day, you will be able to do so on Advance Voting Days. 

  • Special Advance Voting
    • Wednesday, October 1, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
    • Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and
    • Friday, October 3, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Traditional Advance Vote Days
    • Advance Vote Day 1
      • Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Advance Vote Day 2
      • Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Who can vote in municipal elections?

You can vote in municipal elections (or be an eligible elector) if, on Voting Day, you are:

  • a resident of the City of Ottawa, or an owner or tenant of land in the City of Ottawa, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old; and
  • not prohibited from voting by law.

 If you are not a resident in the City of Ottawa, to vote for a school board Trustee, you must be:

  • an owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction of the school board, who does not support any other school board. If you are not sure which board you support, this information can be found on the Voters’ List. 

I am a student temporarily living in Ottawa while I go to school.  Am I allowed to vote?  

Yes.  If you live in the City of Ottawa temporarily to attend school, you are eligible to vote in both the City of Ottawa and your “home” municipality.                                                                                                                                     

What offices will the City’s electors be voting for?

Eligible electors will be able to vote for the offices of Mayor, City Councillor and school board Trustee.

  • The Mayor is elected at large by all electors.
  • Councillors are elected by the eligible voters of each ward – one Councillor for each of Ottawa’s 23 wards.
  • school board Trustees are elected by zones, which comprise of one or more City wards. The board you are entitled to vote for is determined by your school support status, as shown on the Voters’ List. The school boards that have jurisdiction in the City of Ottawa are the:
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  • Ottawa Catholic School Board
  • Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
  • Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Will I be required to show identification in order to vote?

Yes.  All voters will be required to present a prescribed proof of identity and residence in order to receive a ballot at their voting location.  This is a requirement of the Province of Ontario.

Voters who cannot present an acceptable proof of identity and residence will have to complete an application and make a statutory declaration which may delay the voting process.

Why should I vote?

By voting for a candidate for the office of Mayor and Councillor, you are helping to set the future direction of the City of Ottawa. The City provides the day-to-day services you count on, from paramedic and police services, to clean water and parks, to transit and public libraries. City Council decides how your property tax dollars are spent and establishes the level and range of municipal services available in your community. Voting for your school board Trustee is also important. Trustees develop and implement recommendations for educational programs, budgets, facilities and property issues, policies and procedures that govern their board’s operation.

Am I registered to vote?

The City of Ottawa’s Voters’ List is compiled from information that we receive from Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. The Voters’ List will be available for you to review at the City of Ottawa’s Elections Office (1221 Cyrville Road, Unit B), Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West), and all Client Service Centres from Tuesday, September 2 to Monday, October 27, 2014. You should check the Voters’ List to ensure that your name, address and school-support designation are listed correctly. 

If I own more than one property in Ottawa, can I vote more than once?

No. You can vote only once for the offices of Mayor, Councillor and school board Trustee. Your qualifying address, where your name will be on the Voters’ List, will be determined by your primary residence.

Can a person who is homeless or who has no fixed address vote?

Yes. Eligible voters who are homeless, or without a permanent home or fixed address, can vote. Their qualifying address will be determined by the place:

  • to which they most frequently returned to sleep or eat during the five weeks prior to the election, since this is considered to be their residence; or
  • where they returned to sleep, if they returned with equal frequency to one place to sleep and another to eat.

Can someone else vote on my behalf? 

Yes. If you are unable to vote on October 27 or on any of the Advance Vote Days, you can appoint a proxy. A proxy is a person who is an eligible voter and whom you trust to vote on your behalf. To appoint a proxy, you have to fill in an Appointment of Voting Proxy form. You can appoint a voting proxy commencing on September 12, 2014 at 2 p.m. until Monday, October 27, 2014 during regular business hours.  Your proxy must bring the form to the Elections Office, Ottawa City Hall or any Client Service Centre during regular business hours, along with proof of his or her identity, and have it certified by City staff.  In addition, a voting proxy may be appointed between noon and 5 p.m. on Advance Vote Days.  All voting proxies must be appointed before 4:30 p.m. on Voting Day. A proxy can represent multiple members of his or her immediate family, but only one individual who is not a member of his or her immediate family.

Will I be notified of where and when to vote?

Yes. In late September, a voter notification letter will be sent to all electors present on the Voters’ List informing persons when and where they may vote. Voting places may have changed since the last election, so please check this notice carefully.

Can I get a copy of the Voters’ List?       

No. Under Ontario’s Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the City can only provide copies of the Voters’ List to candidates, Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament. However, you can review the list at the Elections Office, Ottawa City Hall and Client Service Centres from Tuesday, September 2 to Monday, October 27, 2014.

What school board zone do I live in?

School board structures are determined and provided by the respective boards. You can find the structures on our website.

Who are the candidates?

You can view the most current list of candidates for the offices of Mayor, City Councillor and school board Trustee on the City’s website. You can also contact the Elections Office at 613-580-2660 and we will provide you with a list of the nominated candidates.

How can I get in touch with a candidate, or find out about their election platform?

The list of candidates with their contact information is available on the City’s website. To find out about a candidate’s platform, you must contact the candidate or his or her campaign headquarters directly.

Where can I get election results?

At the close of voting on October 27, the totals from all the voting locations will be sent electronically to a central server and compiled. These results will then be displayed at Ottawa City Hall and on the City’s website. Previous Elections results are currently available.

Need more information?

Consult the 2014 Voters’ Guide created by The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH). This guide was created to provide voters with general information in plain language concerning the rules and constraints of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations.

Contact the City of Ottawa’s Elections Office with your questions and inquiries, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.