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Information for Voters

Certified Candidates - 2018 Municipal Elections

Registered Third Parties - 2018 Municipal Elections

Eligibility to Vote

The next regular municipal election to elect a mayor, city councillors, and school board trustees will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018. Eligible electors will be casting ballots for the following offices:

  • Mayor - one elected at large
  • City councillor – one elected per ward, 23 wards
  • School board trustee - one elected per zone, 37 zones
    • 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

For more information, we recommend consulting the Ministry of Municipal Affairs' 2018 Voters’ guide for Ontario municipal council and school board elections. 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.

Who can vote?

A person is entitled to vote in a municipal election if they are a qualified elector. 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.

Who cannot vote?

The following are prohibited from voting in a municipal election:

  • serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution
  • a corporation
  • acting as executor or trustee or in another representative capacity, except as a voting proxy
  • convicted of a corrupt practice described in section 90(3) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996

Voting for students

If you are a student and consider your "home" to be the place where you live when you are not attending school, which means you plan on returning there, then you are eligible to vote in both your "home" municipality and in the municipality where you currently live while attending school.

As a student and a resident of the City of Ottawa, if you are unable to vote in the City of Ottawa Municipal Election, you may appoint another elector as a proxy to vote on your behalf.

Voters' list

You are encouraged to use MPAC’s online tool, voterlookup.ca, to confirm whether you are on the preliminary list of electors for the upcoming municipal elections. Allowing you to take an active role in maintaining accurate and up-to-date electoral information, this tool can be used to make updates to your information where incorrectly recorded, to add a name to the enumeration and/or to change your school support for electoral purposes.

Starting September 4, 2018, you may visit the Elections Office or a Client Service Centre to review the voters’ list and confirm whether your name is presented on the voters’ list.

From September 1 to 15, 2018, you will be able to use the Am I on the Voters’ List? search tool to check to see if you are registered to vote and/or make any necessary updates to your information.

Voter Identification

All electors will be required to present a piece of identification in order to receive a ballot at their voting place. The identification must show your name and address. Photo identification is not required. Electors who cannot present an acceptable proof of identity and residence will have to make a statutory declaration.

Many documents can be used to show a person’s name and address.You may present one of the following:

  • An Ontario driver’s licence.
  • An Ontario Health Card (photo card).
  • An Ontario Photo Card.
  • An 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 of 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.

Please note that your Voter Notification cannot be used as a piece of identification.

Voting

Electors will have several opportunities to cast a ballot:

Special Advance Voting

Special advance voting will be open to all City of Ottawa electors October 4 to 7, 2018, from 10 am to 8 pm.

Electors may cast a ballot at any of the following locations during the special advance voting period:

  • Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive
  • City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West
  • François Dupuis Recreation Centre, 2263 Portobello Boulevard
  • Greenboro Community Centre, 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive
  • Minto Recreation Complex - Barrhaven, 3500 Cambrian Road
  • Richcraft Recreation Complex - Kanata, 4101 Innovation Drive

Traditional Advance Voting

Electors will have an opportunity to vote in their ward on Friday, October 12, 2018, from 10 am to 8 pm.

Voting Day

Voting Day is Monday, October 22, 2018, from 10 am to 8 pm.

Please note that this is general information and that additional information on voting places will be made available in the months leading up to Voting Day.

Voting by proxy

If you will be unable to get to a voting place to cast your ballot on October 22, 2018, or on any of the advance vote days, you may wish to appoint a proxy. A proxy is someone that can go to the voting place and cast a ballot on your behalf. This person must be an eligible elector and should be someone you trust to mark the ballot the way you have instructed them to.

 A proxy can represent multiple members of their immediate family, but only one individual who is not a member of their immediate family.

How to appoint a proxy

To appoint a proxy, you and the person you want to appoint must fill out an Appointment for Voting Proxy (Form 3). The individual that has been appointed must take the completed form to the City’s Elections OfficeOttawa City Hall or any Client Service Centre during regular business hours to have it certified by City staff. Your proxy will be required to present proof of their identity. Please refer to the Identification section for a list of documents that may be presented as identification.

Things needed for certification:

Things needed at the voting place:

Deadline for appointing a proxy

All voting proxies must be appointed before 4:30 pm on Voting Day (October 22, 2018).

Accessible voting tools and services

The Elections Office is committed to providing an accessible voting process.  As such, the Elections Office ensures several accessibility tools are available to electors, including:

  • large print ballots
  • magnifying sheets
  • braille listings of candidates
  • braille ballot templates
  • access to a cell phone with Elections call centre staff on standby

Accessible vote tabulators

All special advance voting places, traditional advance voting places and voting places in retirement residences and long-term care facilities will offer electors the opportunity to use an accessible vote tabulator (AVT). The AVT allows electors with disabilities to mark and cast their ballot privately and independently.

Its features include:

  • a braille keypad
  • L-R paddles (colour-coded left and right paddles)
  • a sip-puff device
  • bilingual audio through headphones
  • bilingual visual support through a 19-inch screen with zoom and high contrast features

Curbside voting

If you are physically unable to go inside the voting place, you can request to have your ballot brought to your vehicle, outside of the building or to another area within the voting place. A friend or support person will need to go inside the voting place to let the election officials know that you require curbside voting.

For additional information about curbside voting, please contact the Elections Office.

Campaign Finances

Candidates cannot raise or spend any money on their campaign until they have filed a nomination paper and opened a bank account exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Third parties cannot raise or spend any money on their campaign until they have filed a notice of registration and opened a bank account exclusively for the purposes of the election campaign.

Contributions to a candidate’s campaign

Campaign contributions are any money, goods or services that are given to a candidate for use in their campaign, including money and goods that a candidate contributes to themselves.

Any person who is a resident of Ontario may make a contribution to a candidate’s campaign.

The following persons and entities shall not make a contribution:

  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party.
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board. 

Individuals may contribute a maximum of $1,200 to a single candidate. This includes the value of any goods or services donated to the campaign. Individuals may not contribute more than $5,000 in total to candidates running for offices on the same council or school board. Any contribution of money must come directly from the contributor.

Contributions greater than $25 may not 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 come from.

Contributions to municipal and school board candidates, as well as registered third parties, are not tax deductible.

Contributions to a registered third party

The following persons and entities may make a contribution to a registered third party:

  • Any person who is a resident of Ontario.
  • A corporation that carries on business in Ontario.
  • A trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario.
  • The registered third party and, in the case of an individual, his or her spouse.

The following persons and entities shall not make a contribution to a registered third party:

  • A federal political party registered under the Canada Elections Act (Canada) or any federal constituency association or registered candidate at a federal election endorsed by that party.
  • A provincial political party, constituency association, registered candidate or leadership contestant registered under the Election Finances Act.
  • The Crown in right of Canada or Ontario, a municipality or a local board. 

Contributors may contribute a total of $1,200 to a registered third party in relation to third party advertisements that appear during an election in the City of Ottawa. The maximum total amount that a contributor can give to third parties registered in the City of Ottawa is $5,000.

Contributions greater than $25 may not 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 come from.

Campaigning and Sign Restrictions

Election signs on private property

The first day an election sign can be placed on private property is August 23, 2018.

Temporary Signs on Private Property By-law - City of Ottawa By-law 2004-239, Sections 14 and 21, states:

  1. No person or entity shall place or cause to be placed or allow to remain placed an election sign more than sixty (60) days immediately preceding the election date.

  2. Every election sign together with its appurtenances shall be removed from the premise within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.

  3. Dimension requirements [By-law 2004-239] do not apply to an election sign.

Election signs on public property

The first day an election sign can be placed on public property is September 22, 2018.

Signs on City Roads 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 election sign is to be 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 election sign and its appurtenances shall be removed within forty-eight (48) hours following the election date.

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.

Election signs on provincial highways

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

Election signs on National Capital Commission lands

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

Campaign material 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.

Campaigning at a voting place

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996, 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 inside a voting place.

Voting screens are 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.