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Voting and Voters

When is the next municipal election?
The next municipal election is on October 24, 2022.
Who can vote?

An eligible voter is a person that is entitled to be an elector at an election held in a local municipality, if on voting day he or she is:

  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years old;
  • residing in the local municipality or an owner or tenant of land there, or the spouse of such owner or tenant; and
  • not otherwise prohibited from voting.
Who can't vote?

The following individuals cannot vote in a municipal election:

  • a person serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution;
  • a corporation; or
  • a person convicted of a corrupt practice for an election held within four years of voting day.

A person who is acting as an executor or in any other representative capacity (e.g., power of attorney), cannot vote on behalf of the person they are representing unless they have been appointed as a voting proxy.

Number of Votes
A voter is only entitled to vote once in a municipality and once in a school board even if the voter has more than one qualifying property address within the municipality or school board. In a municipality with wards, if a voter resides in one ward but has other properties in different wards in the same municipality, he or she may only vote in the ward where he or she resides. A voter may only have one permanent residence.
 Students
A student may vote in the municipality where he or she is temporarily residing while attending school as well as at his or her permanent home in a different municipality, provided that he or she does not intend to change his or her permanent home.
Homeless Persons

If a person has no permanent residence, then the following rules determine his or her residence:

  1. The place in which the person most frequently returned to sleep or eat during the five weeks preceding the determination.
  2. If the person returns with equal frequency to one place to sleep and another to eat, the place in which he or she sleeps.
  3. Multiple returns to the same place during a single day, to eat or sleep, are considered to be one return.

A person's affidavit regarding the places to which he or she returned to eat or sleep during a given time period is conclusive, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

Acceptable Documents for Voter Identification Purposes
  • 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

Full list of Acceptable Identification

Accessibility
The Township has developed an Elections Accessibility Plan to ensure that electoral services are accessible to everyone – candidates, electors and staff. The Plan identifies ways the Township will eliminate barriers for persons of all abilities and create a positive electoral experience for everyone.  
Election Signs

The municipality has rules in place about when signs can be put up, and how signs may be displayed on public property. These signs must adhere to the Selwyn Township, Peterborough County (County Brochure) and Ministry of Transportation (MTO) sign By-laws.

Candidates are responsible for removing their signs after voting day and are strongly encouraged to place election signs on private property with the permission of the property owner. The Township has the authority to remove any signs deemed to cause a safety hazard.

Third Party Advertising

What is a Third Party Advertisement?

The Municipal Elections Act now includes a framework for third party advertising. A third party advertisement is an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that promotes, supports or opposes a candidate, or a “yes” or “no” answer to a question on the ballot. Advertisement includes traditional ads as well as materials such as brochures or signs. Third party advertising is separate from any candidate’s campaign, and must be done independently from a candidate. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 sets out a restricted period for third party advertising, for the 2018 election, the restricted period is May 1, 2018 to the close of voting on October 22, 2018.

What is not a Third Party Advertisement?

Activities that do not involve spending money, such as discussions or expressing an opinion about a candidate (or an answer to a question on the ballot) are not considered to be third party advertising. Examples include:

  • speaking to friends and neighbours
  • posting on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
  • sending an email to a group or mailing list
Who can be a Third Party Advertiser?

Only those who have registered can spend money on third party advertising. The following are eligible to register as a third party advertiser:

  • any person who is a resident in Ontario
  • a corporation carrying on business in Ontario
  • a trade union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario

If two or more corporations are owned or controlled by the same person or people, or if one corporation controls another, they are considered to be a single corporation. If the same person or people own or control multiple corporations, only one of those corporations may register to be a third party in a municipality.

There is no restriction against family members or campaign staff of candidates registering to be third party advertisers. However, third party advertising must be done independently of the candidate. If a person with close ties to a candidate wishes to register they should consider how these activities may look to the public and how they would be able to demonstrate that they were not working in co-ordination with the candidate.

Who cannot be a Third Party Advertiser?

A candidate running for any municipal council or school board office cannot register to be a third party advertiser in any municipality.

Groups, associations or businesses that are not corporations are not eligible to register and may not spend money on third party advertising in municipal elections. For example, neighbourhood associations, clubs or professional associations cannot register and cannot make contributions to third party advertisers. Members may register as individual third party advertisers and may contribute individually.

Candidates in the provincial election cannot register. They may register after the provincial election, when they are no longer candidates.

Federal and provincial political parties cannot register to be third party advertisers. Political parties are not permitted to be financially involved in municipal elections.

Registering as a Third Party Advertiser

An individual, corporation or trade union must register with the municipal clerk to be a third party advertiser in a municipality.

Being registered in a municipality allows the third party to advertise to the voters in that municipality. A third party advertiser can support or oppose any candidate or candidates who will be voted on by the people in that municipality. This includes candidates running for local council and school trustee.

Third party advertisers do not need to decide before they register which candidate or candidates they want to support or oppose, and they do not have to tell the clerk what their intentions are.

A third party can only advertise to voters in the municipality where they are registered. There is no limit on the number of municipalities where a third party can register. If a third party wants to advertise to voters in more than one municipality they must register in each municipality where they wish to advertise.

Where to Register

An individual or a representative of a corporation or trade union must file a Notice of Registration (Form 7) with the municipal clerk in person or by an agent. It must have an original signature – the form may not be a copy, and may not be scanned and submitted electronically. There is no registration fee.

The municipal clerk must be satisfied that that the individual, corporation or trade union is eligible in order to certify the registration, and may require that identification or additional documents be provided.

A person who is filing as the representative of a corporation or a trade union should make sure that they can provide proof that they are authorized to act on the corporation or trade union’s behalf.

How do Campaign Finance Rules apply to Third Party Advertisers?

Most campaign finance and reporting rules that apply to candidates will also apply to third party advertisers. Third party advertisers will have spending limits and there will be contribution limits for those wishing to contribute to a third party advertiser. Corporations and unions will be permitted to make contributions to third party advertisers, but will not be permitted to make contributions to candidates.
Election Signs

The municipality has rules in place about when signs can be put up, and how signs may be displayed on public property. Third Party Advertisers must adhere to the Selwyn TownshipPeterborough County (County Brochure) and Ministry of Transportation (MTO) sign by-laws.

The Third Party Advertiser is responsible for removing their signs after voting day and are strongly encouraged to place election signs on private property with the permission of the property owner. The Township has the authority to remove any signs deemed to cause a safety hazard.

Identification on Advertising

A third party advertiser must provide the following information on all of its advertisements, signs and other materials:

  • the legal name of the registered third party (if the third party is a corporation or trade union, the name of the corporation or trade union must appear, not the name of the representative who filed the registration)
  • the municipality where the third party is registered
  • a telephone number, mailing address or email address where the third party can be contacted

A registered individual cannot act on behalf of a group or organization that is not eligible to register as a third party advertiser. For example, if Chris Smith is the president of a business improvement association (BIA), the signs and materials must identify Chris Smith as the person responsible for the advertising, not the BIA.

If ads are going to be broadcast or published (e.g. on a radio station or in a newspaper), the ad must contain the information required above, and the third party advertiser must also provide the broadcaster or publisher with the following:

  • the name of the registered third party
  • the name, business address and telephone number of the individual who deals with the broadcaster or publisher under the direction of the registered third party
  • the municipality where the third party is registered

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