Ranked Ballot voting in Ontario: Province doesn’t allow municipalities to choose

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| Published , updated February 1, 2024

2016 – Government of Ontario gives municipalities the option to adopt ranked ballots

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario under the Ontario Liberal Party (Kathleen Wynne) passed Bill 181, the Municipal Elections Modernization Act which permitted municipalities to adopt ranked ballots for municipal elections.

2018 election

London was the only municipality to use ranked ballots in the 2018 election itself, with the decision in that city being made by London City Council in 2017.

Cambridge and Kingston held referendums at the same time as the 2018 elections on whether to adopt ranked ballots for the next municipal elections in 2022. Both referendums passed.

2020 – Government of Ontario takes the option to adopt ranked ballots away from municipalities

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario under the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (Doug Ford) passed the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, 2020, which removed the option for ranked choice voting in municipal elections. Therefore, London switched back to First-past-the-post voting for the 2022 election, and the cities of Cambridge and Kingston were not able to switch to ranked ballots.

2021 – Private member’s bill to bring Local Choice back

A private member’s bill Bill 80, Local Choice for Local Elections Act (Ranked Ballot By-Laws) was introduced by Mitzie Hunter to bring Local Choice back to Ontario. It was carried on its first reading, but did not progress further.

Sources

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