Election day is here.
Londoners are gearing up to head to the polls to vote for their next mayor, city councillors and school board trustees. Municipal elections, which come every four years, decide the makeup of the local government.
Ten candidates are running for the seat in the mayor’s office left by Mayor Ed Holder, while 61 others are running in 14 ward races across the city, including five where no incumbents are represented on the ballot.
Following weeks of campaigning as well as advanced polling, voting for the Forest City’s municipal election will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. Monday.
London used ranked ballots in the 2018 municipal election, but a bill passed in 2020 removed this option for Ontario municipalities. Voting for the 2022 municipal election will go back to first past the post- a winner-take-all voting system where the candidate with the highest number – but not necessarily a majority – of votes is elected.
“This is how we vote for provincial and federal elections,” said Sarah Corman, deputy city clerk for the City of London. “Our ballots, of course, are a little different because you have three contests: Mayor, councillor, and your school board trustees.”
The mayor and councillors are responsible for keeping an eye on an array of key policy initiatives, including housing, transit, public and recreational spaces, as well as police funding, in representing the public to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality.
School board trustees set policy at the local level while large scale or broader educational decisions are handled by the province.
As London head to the polls, here is everything voters need to know:
Where to vote?
According to the City of London website, residents should have received notification of their designated polling station on their Voter Information Card that was delivered in the mail.
The city also has an online tool to help Londoners find out where they can vote based on their address.
For Londoners living unsheltered, according to the InterCommunity Health Centre, there are three voting locations available:
- DUNDAS SITE – 659 Dundas St. – vote at St. Mary Choir Catholic Elementary School, Gym, 347 Lyle St.
- HURON SITE – Unit 7 – 1355 Huron St. – vote at Stronach Area & Community Centre, Multi Purpose Room A&B, 1221 Sandford Street
- ARGYLE SITE – Unit 1 – 1700 Dundas St. – vote at East Lions Community Centre, Meeting Room No. 2, 1731 Churchill Ave.
When are polls open?
Polls will be open between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.
How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote on election day when you go to cast your ballot if you are not already on the voters’ list for London.
Who am I voting for?
Londoners are voting for their next mayor, city councillors and school board trustees. A full list of mayoral and ward candidates can be found in this online Global News story.
A complete ward map provided by the City of London is also available.
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What do I need to vote?
Identification is required when you vote. According to the city, you will need to show ID which contains your name and address. Some people may have to show two pieces of ID to accomplish this.
A full list of acceptable documents can be found on the city website.
City officials say that you do not have to bring a voter information card, but it will speed up the process if you do.
Who can vote?
A person is entitled to vote at an election held in a local municipality if, on voting day, they,
- live in the local municipality or are the owner or tenant of land there, or are the spouse of such owner or tenant;
- are a Canadian citizen;
- are at least 18 years old;
All you need to do is show up to vote on election day at your designated poll with identification and proof of address.
Students aged 18 or older are allowed to vote in either their home municipality or the municipality where they are attending school.
For every municipal election, the province releases a Voter’s Guide which “provides information to voters for the 2022 municipal council and school board elections. The information also applies to any by-elections that may be held during the 2022-2026 council and school board term,” according to the city.
Following the election, Corman says that the city’s “senior leadership team has been working on our orientation for new councillors and preparations are underway for the first meeting of council and swearing all the councillors and a new mayor in.”