April 2019
AMCTO Advocacy Win: Elections Ontario Recommends Changes to the Voters' List

2019-04-18 11:27:49 AM

CATEGORIES: Elections, Advocacy

AMCTO has released the following statement in response to the Elections Ontario's report on fixing the voters list: 

AMCTO today applauded the report tabled by Ontario's Chief Electoral Officer, Greg Essensa, Modernizing Ontario's Electoral Process, which includes 13 transformational recommendations to improve the municipal voters' list and enhance the electoral process in Ontario, a key advocacy priority for AMCTO due to its impact on election administration and the integrity of the election process.

AMCTO's long-standing position is that the existing processes for creating, maintaining, and amending the information on the municipal voters' list have not addressed the reality that every four years municipalities are provided with a deeply flawed list of electors. The feeling of many voters’ as well as AMCTO's members, who administer municipal elections, is that the voters' list in Ontario is plagued by inaccuracies, and remains a constant source of frustration.

Following the 2014 municipal elections, AMCTO released its position paper - Time to Fix the Voter's List - to advocate for a new approach to building the voters' list in Ontario. The report was shared with the previous provincial government, which responded by engaging in discussions with key stakeholders, including AMCTO, at the behest of then-Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ted McMeekin. As a result, some minor tweaks to the voter's list were implemented ahead of the 2018 municipal elections. While AMCTO welcomed those changes, the association continued to advocate for more fulsome changes.

In today's report, the Chief Electoral Officer makes 13 recommendations, including several positions advocated by AMCTO and its members, including:

  • Establishing a single address authority to standardize addressing across Ontario and improve services that rely on address information;

  • Make Elections Ontario responsible for municipal voters lists to increase consistency and accuracy between voters list; and

  • Change election day to a day when school is not in session to provide easier access to schools as voting locations, while enhancing the safety and security of school children.

"AMCTO is pleased that the Chief Electoral Officer has seen the value of our position and that our advocacy efforts have garnered his support," said Dylan McMahon, Chair of the AMCTO Legislation and Policy Committee. "Since 2004, AMCTO has been working towards transformational change on the voters' list and the electoral process, to help Ontario's local government professionals better manage the more than 400 local elections held every four years.

We look forward to working with the provincial government, MPPs, and other key stakeholders to implement meaningful changes that will improve the ways in which we ensure inclusivity around a fundamental democratic right."

With approximately 2,200 members working in 98% of Ontario municipalities, AMCTO is Canada's largest voluntary association of local government professionals. AMCTO's membership includes municipal Clerks who serve as the chief electoral officers in their respective communities, and are charged with ensuring the integrity of municipal elections.

For more information, please see below: 

AMCTO: Advocacy Update - Fixing the Voters' List (2015)

AMCTO: Bill with Voters' List Implications Passes (2017)

AMCTO: Voters' List 

Elections Ontario: Elections Ontario Reports on Transformative Election 


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