Northwestern Ontario residents will be heading to the polls to elect our local and provincial leaders today through the 2022 Provincial Election.
Ontarians have between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to cast a ballot. Voters must be 18-years-old, a Canadian citizen and resident of Ontario, and you must be on Elections Ontario’s voters list. Residents are asked to bring their Voter Information Card they received in the mail along with a piece of photo identification.
If you did not receive a Voter Information Card, you must add your name to the voters list before you go to cast a ballot. To do that, you need a piece of identification that shows your name and residential address, and you will need to sign a declaration form.
The Voter Information Card will provide you with your polling location, based on your address. You can also enter your postal code through Elections Ontario to find more information, or use the Elections Ontario app.
Voting locations will be adhering to COVID-19 restrictions today, but voters will not need to wear a mask or show their proof of vaccination. Individuals will need to maintain social distancing, and if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you will not be allowed to enter and will instead be allowed to vote through curbside voting.
If you’re stuck at work today, remember that employees who are qualified to vote are entitled to three consecutive hours for voting while the polls are open, which the employer is obligated to approve and cannot deduct the time off from your pay.
If your work schedule does not allow for three hours off in a row, employers are obligated to provide other options such as a split shift or starting work earlier or later to accommodate going to the polls. However, if your work schedule already allows for three hours of voting, such as finishing your shift by 5 p.m., your employer is not required to provide time off to vote as you can use personal time instead.
Notably, the 2018 provincial election had the highest voter turnout since 2003 and was called within 30 minutes. Doug Ford’s PC party formed a majority government, while the NDP moved into the Official Opposition for the first time since 1990. The previous Liberal government fell to third place, while the Green Party won its first seat in history.