Ranked Ballots coming to Mississauga & other Ontario Cities

The Municipal Elections Act of 1996, is under review and one of the main focuses for changes is the introduction of ranked ballots as an alternative to the current voting system. The Mississauga City Councillors are exploring the option for ranked ballots for the next election in 2018.

The proposed alternative for municipal elections is Ranked Ballots. How they work:ranked
• Voters rank the candidates in order of preference – first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. – rather than just voting for one candidate.
• The votes are counted in multiple rounds. If your first choice has the least votes in the round and is eliminated, then your vote is given to your second choice, and so on, until someone has over 50% of the vote.
• This ensures that winning candidate has the support of the majority of the voters.

Benefits of Ranked Ballots:
• Discourages negative campaigning- as voters rank multiple candidates, it gives candidates a reason to appeal to not just their first choice voters, but also to the supporters of other candidates.
• Reduces strategic voting- with the current system, voters sometimes do not vote for their first choice candidate because they think they won’t win the election.
• Encourages candidates to remain in the race until voting day
• Potentially increases voter engagement & voter turnout- in the last municipal election in Mississauga, in October, the voter turnout was only 36% of eligible voters.

Go online to learn more about ranked ballots and submit your comments (by answering a short survey): www.ontario.ca/caeh

The deadline for submitting comments is July 27, 2015.