AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With Toronto’s municipal election less than a month away, local candidates are officially gearing up for their respective races.
As of Thursday, Sept. 29, Toronto residents can expect to start seeing election signs popping up as local campaigns move into full swing.
Residents will have a total of nine days to vote in-person, including eight days of advance polls being open prior to Election Day on Monday, Oct. 24.
Advance voting in Toronto is scheduled from Oct. 7 through to Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
This is a major change from previous city elections as voters now have three extra days of advanced in-person voting. Final voting opportunities are reserved for Election Day on Oct. 24.
To maximize potential voter turn-out, advance polls will be open during the Thanksgiving long weekend. This will help give voting opportunities to post-secondary students who are coming home for that weekend.
There will be a total of 1,460 voting locations across Toronto. Fifty of those will be advance voting sites, as each of the city’s 25 wards will have two locations for voters who prefer to cast their votes in advance.
To be eligible to cast a vote, residents must be Canadian citizens and at least 18 years of age. Property owners must vote in the ward they live in. If the voter is a non-resident of Toronto, they or their spouse must own or rent property in the city.
By law, an eligible voter can only vote once regardless of how many properties they own or rent within the city.
For the first time, the more than 1.89 million eligible electors in Toronto’s municipal election also have a mail-in voting option. However, the deadline to register for it was Sept. 23.
The mail-in voting process was first tried in Toronto during the 2021 Scarborough-Agincourt byelection and accounted for 29 per cent of the ballots cast. The final day for Toronto Elections to receive completed mail-in voting packages is on Oct. 21 at noon. However, the deadline for those wishing to vote by mail has passed and no new registrations for this service are being accepted. For more information, on the vote-by-mail system, please go to the Vote by Mail webpage.
Although the deadline for voters to confirm if they are on the voters’ list and update their information online was Sept. 23, they can still add their names by calling 311 or emailing VoterRegistration@toronto.ca before Friday, Oct. 14 at 4:30 p.m.
It is important to remember that eligible voters can also add themselves to list when they go to the polling station to vote during advance voting days or on Election Day
When going to a polling station, voters are advised to bring their Voter information Card (VIC) and government identification which clearly shows their name and Toronto address. Types of acceptable identification are available on the Toronto Elections webpage. This process is to help officials easily confirm voter eligibility. The VIC provides information about when and where to vote during both advance vote period and on Election Day. The card on its own cannot be used as identification.
For a list of candidates running in the Toronto election in areas covered by Beach Metro Community News, please go to https://beachmetro.com/2022/08/19/final-list-of-candidates-running-for-council-and-school-board-in-beaches-east-york-scarborough-southwest-and-toronto-danforth-in-2022-election/
For more information on how you can vote in Toronto’s October municipal election, please go to https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/elections/voter-information/
Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.