Vote Counting and Reporting Requirements for Ranked Ballot Elections under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Municipal Elections Act, 1996
Summary of Decision:
A decision was made to make a single regulation that integrates the proposals on ranked ballot consultations and ranked ballot vote counting. As a result, the content was consolidated to create O. Reg. 310/16. Minor changes to the original proposal were made to the regulation as a result of feedback from stakeholders, including a requirement that detailed voting instructions be provided to the voter at the voting place, rather than being printed on the ballot.
June 13, 2016
Summary of Proposal:
The Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016 (Bill 181) would, if passed, provide municipalities with the authority to conduct ranked ballot elections for offices on municipal councils if authorized by a regulation made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Lieutenant Governor in Council could make regulations setting out:
-rules governing ballots, voting procedures, the counting of votes, recounts and reporting results
-conditions, limitations and procedural requirements for passing the by-law, including consultation requirements and timing
-powers that the clerk may exercise in administering a ranked ballot election
The government proposes a new regulation setting out the following rules governing ballots, voting procedures, the counting of votes, recounts and reporting results.
Requirements for Ballots
The general rules for what can appear on a ballot set out in the Municipal Elections Act would continue to apply to ranked ballots.
In addition, the ballots to be used in a ranked ballot election must contain the following information:
-the number of candidates to be elected for each office
-instructions to the voter on how to mark the ballot to rank their preferences
-the maximum number of preferences that may be ranked on the ballot for each office
How Rankings will be Interpreted
The voter's preference will be determined by looking at the rankings given to candidates.
If a voter gives the same candidate more than one ranking, only the highest of those rankings will be considered.
If a voter skips a ranking, the next highest ranking will be considered.
If a voter gives two candidates the highest ranking, so that it is not possible to determine which candidate is the voter's first preference, the ballot will be rejected.
In any round of counting after the first round, if a ballot is to be transferred, but it is not possible to determine which candidate is the voter's next preference, the ballot becomes exhausted.
A voter does not have to rank the maximum number of preferences. For example, if a voter only ranks one candidate, that candidate would be the voter's highest preference. If the ballot is to be transferred in a later round, it would become exhausted because it would not be possible to determine the voter's next preference.
Elimination of Candidates
Candidates may be eliminated either using single elimination or batch elimination.
The clerk has the authority to decide which elimination method will be used. The same elimination method must be used for all offices, and all rounds of vote counting.
In the single elimination method, the candidate who has the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and those votes are distributed to the remaining candidates according to the next preference shown on each ballot.
In the batch elimination method, all candidates who do not have a mathematical chance of being elected are eliminated at the same time, and those votes are distributed to the remaining candidates according to the next preference shown on each ballot.
Calculation of the Threshold
A candidate must receive a predetermined number of votes for that office in order to be elected. The regulation will set out the mathematical formula for calculating this number for each office to be elected.
Summary of Proposal continued on separate page. See link below.
Sarah De Decker
Local Government Policy Branch
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St
September 16, 2016