Engaging electors: a look at how we vote

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Times are changing, we’re all doing more remotely, and, even after the pandemic that may continue. Be it participating in meetings by phone, or catching up with friends in a Zoom call many of our connections are taking place at a distance.


As a City democratic participation is a core value, and these new means of connecting could be used to allow more people to vote, be it out of comfort or increased accessibility. We all deserve to have our voices heard, and doing that in a way that is most convenient means more people can participate. Democracy only gets stronger with participation.


With this in mind, and municipal elections approaching in 2022, the City is looking at the possibility of new ways to allow for residents to cast their votes for City Council, the Mayor, school boards and Regional Council. Please keep reading to learn more about voting methods such as in-person, mail, telephone and internet voting.


When you’re done feel free to let us know what you think of each, your past experiences with municipal elections, and ways we can improve access, with the short survey at the bottom of the page. The survey results will provide staff with insight as a final report is prepared for Council consideration in November 2021.


In-person voting

This is the way we have done it for years now:

  • Voter identification cards are mailed to eligible voters
  • Voters physically attend a location in person to fill out a ballot

Vote by mail

This would allow residents to vote via pre-paid postage:

  • Those desiring to vote sign up ahead of time with the Clerk’s office
  • The City mails out a kit with instructions, voter declaration card, ballot, secrecy folder and pre-paid return envelope
  • Voters fill out their ballot and return it via mail to the City by a specified date

Telephone voting

With this voters can cast their ballots via their home or mobile phone:

  • Voter notification cards are mailed to eligible residents
  • Voters call in to a toll-free number provided on the card
  • Identification is verified via Voter ID Number and security question
  • Pre-recorded voice commands guide the resident through the process and take their votes
  • An audit or recount would rely on a system that cannot be verified by another external process.
  • A third-party cyber-security audit would be required to verify the technology.

Internet voting

More and more of what we do takes place in an online environment, this would see the municipal vote reaching residents online:

  • Voter notification cards are mailed to eligible residents with instructions on voting via an internet-enabled device such as computer or smart phone
  • Voters would log into a registration site providing information to verify their identity
  • Once registered voters receive an email link and PIN number giving them access to an online ballot, this two step process ensures greater security
  • Ballot information is encrypted to protect the information on the ballot and coded to ensure the ballot is not altered
  • An audit or recount would rely on a system that cannot be verified by another external process.
  • A third-party cyber-security audit would be required to verify the technology.


It doesn’t have to be one or another, the City can offer multiple voting methods. Tell us what you think as we review our election process. Complete the short survey below before 4 p.m., Oct. 18, 2021 and help us build a better democratic process.

Times are changing, we’re all doing more remotely, and, even after the pandemic that may continue. Be it participating in meetings by phone, or catching up with friends in a Zoom call many of our connections are taking place at a distance.


As a City democratic participation is a core value, and these new means of connecting could be used to allow more people to vote, be it out of comfort or increased accessibility. We all deserve to have our voices heard, and doing that in a way that is most convenient means more people can participate. Democracy only gets stronger with participation.


With this in mind, and municipal elections approaching in 2022, the City is looking at the possibility of new ways to allow for residents to cast their votes for City Council, the Mayor, school boards and Regional Council. Please keep reading to learn more about voting methods such as in-person, mail, telephone and internet voting.


When you’re done feel free to let us know what you think of each, your past experiences with municipal elections, and ways we can improve access, with the short survey at the bottom of the page. The survey results will provide staff with insight as a final report is prepared for Council consideration in November 2021.


In-person voting

This is the way we have done it for years now:

  • Voter identification cards are mailed to eligible voters
  • Voters physically attend a location in person to fill out a ballot

Vote by mail

This would allow residents to vote via pre-paid postage:

  • Those desiring to vote sign up ahead of time with the Clerk’s office
  • The City mails out a kit with instructions, voter declaration card, ballot, secrecy folder and pre-paid return envelope
  • Voters fill out their ballot and return it via mail to the City by a specified date

Telephone voting

With this voters can cast their ballots via their home or mobile phone:

  • Voter notification cards are mailed to eligible residents
  • Voters call in to a toll-free number provided on the card
  • Identification is verified via Voter ID Number and security question
  • Pre-recorded voice commands guide the resident through the process and take their votes
  • An audit or recount would rely on a system that cannot be verified by another external process.
  • A third-party cyber-security audit would be required to verify the technology.

Internet voting

More and more of what we do takes place in an online environment, this would see the municipal vote reaching residents online:

  • Voter notification cards are mailed to eligible residents with instructions on voting via an internet-enabled device such as computer or smart phone
  • Voters would log into a registration site providing information to verify their identity
  • Once registered voters receive an email link and PIN number giving them access to an online ballot, this two step process ensures greater security
  • Ballot information is encrypted to protect the information on the ballot and coded to ensure the ballot is not altered
  • An audit or recount would rely on a system that cannot be verified by another external process.
  • A third-party cyber-security audit would be required to verify the technology.


It doesn’t have to be one or another, the City can offer multiple voting methods. Tell us what you think as we review our election process. Complete the short survey below before 4 p.m., Oct. 18, 2021 and help us build a better democratic process.

Page last updated: 19 October 2021, 08:22