January 12, 2018 9:43 am

City of Kingston concludes town hall meetings on ranked balloting

A board explaining ranked balloting at a public meeting on Thursday evening.

Paul Soucy/CKWS TV
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The City of Kingston held four town hall meetings between Wednesday and Thursday on the topic of ranked balloting, which is being considered for the 2022 municipal election.

A referendum will be part of this fall’s election asking voters how they’d like to elect their municipal government next time around.

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“Some people are definitely there just to get education because they’re not sure what they think [about ranked balloting],” deputy city clerk, Janet James, said. “While some people have come in with strong opinions, either for or against it.”

READ MORE: London to vote by ranked ballot in next municipal election

Kingston is only the second city in Ontario to look into the possibility of ranked balloting. London, Ont., has already implemented it.

“There was a review of the Municipal Elections Act and changes were made by the province to allow the possibility for municipalities to conduct ranked balloting,” James said. “But they don’t have to.”

Here’s how it works: on election day, voters would rank the candidates based on their own preference. If one candidate doesn’t have 50 per cent plus one vote, the candidate with the fewest number of first-place votes would be eliminated and the second-place votes on those ballots would be redistributed among the remaining candidates until there is a winner.

Approximately 100 residents attended the four meetings, but city staff plan to host more in the fall prior to the 2018 municipal election.

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