Ranked ballot a priority for 2018 civic elections, Premier Wynne says
Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered her municipal affairs minister to give Ontario cities the option of using ranked ballots in the 2018 civic elections.
In her mandate letter to Ted McMeekin, Wynne spells out the importance of leading “from the activist centre” with democratic reforms.
“We will place emphasis on partnerships with businesses, communities and people to help foster continued economic growth and make a positive impact on the lives of every Ontarian,” the premier wrote.
“This collaborative approach will shape all the work we do. It will ensure we engage people on the issues that matter the most to them, and that we implement meaningful solutions to our shared challenges.”
Significantly, Wynne has instructed McMeekin to begin “a review of the Municipal Elections Act after the 2014 municipal elections” next month.
“You will ensure that the act meets the needs of communities, and that it provides municipalities with the option of using ranked ballots in future elections, starting in 2018, as an alternative to first-past-the-post,” she wrote.
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WHAT IS A RANKED BALLOT?
In a ranked-ballot system, voters cast ballots for preferred candidates — 1 for their favourite, 2 for their second choice, 3 for their third and so on — instead of for just one candidate.
If no one receives 50 per cent of the No. 1 votes, an instant run-off is held so the last-place candidate drops off the ballot and their second choice votes are allocated to the surviving candidates.
The process continues until a candidate wins a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one.