Last week, Guelph city council met to talk about its future composition; how many councillors will be representing the people of Guelph, and from how many wards? This week, the City of Guelph would like feedback from you about how we’re going to vote in 2022. How do you feel about mail-in ballots, internet voting, or good old in-person Scantron sheets? City staff want to know!
“This review is an opportunity for Guelph to evaluate ways to cast a vote remotely, including online, mailed ballots and telephone voting, and in person using a tabulator,” said Jennifer Slater, manager of Information, Privacy and Elections in a media release.
You can now visit the City’s Have You Say website where you can offer your two cents on what kind, or kinds of voting options there should be for the 2022 municipal election. Guelph residents will have until December 4 to offer their two cents.
There will also be a virtual open house on voting methods, including a panel discussion about internet voting, on Wednesday* November 18 at 6:30 pm. You will be able to watch the open house on the City’s website or its Facebook page.
Internet voting has been a hot potato in the local political discourse in the recent past. After the 2014 use of internet voting increased voter turnout by 11 per cent in that election, council decided to not use internet voting due to security concerns, and voted against its use by a slim margin in 2017.
The only option that won’t be discussed is whether or not Guelph will move to a ranked ballot system of voting. Last month, the Government of Ontario introduced the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, which will no longer allow municipal governments to use ranked ballots as a voting option in 2022, even through London already used it in the last election, and Kingston and Cambridge approved referendum to allow their use in 2022.
Staff will bring a recommendation to council on voting methods in February 2021.
CORRECTION: The article originally stated that the town hall on November 18 was a Tuesday, but it’s actually a Wednesday.