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2022 Voters’ Guide - Ontario municipal council and school board elections

Find out who is eligible to vote, how to vote and how you can support candidates in Ontario municipal council and school board elections.

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This guide provides information to voters for the 2022 municipal council and school board elections. The information also applies to any by-elections that may be held during the 2022-2026 council and school board term.

This guide is not meant to replace provincial legislation. It provides general information about the rules contained in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other legislation and regulations, such as:

General information

Every four years, voters across Ontario elect municipal councillors and school board trustees.

The Province of Ontario sets out common rules that all voters and candidates must follow. However, municipalities are responsible for conducting elections to their council and for conducting the election of school trustees to Ontario’s school boards. This guide contains information about the rules that are the same for all municipal elections, such as who is eligible to vote.

Municipal clerk

Every municipality has a municipal clerk who is in charge of running the election. Contact your municipal clerk or the municipality via its municipal website if you have questions about the election, such as:

  • how or where to vote
  • how to apply for election jobs
  • whether or not you are eligible to vote in the municipality

If your municipality does not have a website you could visit or contact your municipal office for more information.

Public health and safety at the voting place

The municipal clerk is responsible for setting up and running the voting places used in a municipal election. The clerk must follow any provincial or local public health measures that are in effect. They may also put in place additional procedures that they consider necessary for conducting the election. If you have questions about public health and safety at the polling place, you should contact your municipal clerk.

Emergency declaration by the clerk

If the municipal clerk believes that circumstances have arisen that prevent the election from being conducted appropriately, they may declare an emergency. This declaration is specific to the election and separate from an emergency that may be declared by the municipality or the province.

Once the clerk has declared an emergency, they can decide what arrangements to make to allow the election to proceed appropriately. The arrangements that the clerk makes will depend on the nature of the emergency.

If your municipal clerk has declared an emergency in relation to an election or by-election in your municipality, you should contact the clerk for information about the arrangements that they have put in place and how those arrangements may affect voting and campaigning.

Accessibility

Municipal clerks must keep in mind the needs of all voters when they are planning and running the election. The clerk must also ensure that voting places are accessible.

The municipal clerk must prepare a plan for identifying, removing and preventing barriers that affect persons with disabilities. This plan must be available to the public before voting day.

The municipal clerk must also issue a public report on their accessibility plan within 90 days after voting day.

Contact us

If you have additional questions or would like to give feedback on this Guide, please contact us at mea.info@ontario.ca.

You can also contact your regional Municipal Services Office at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Updated: April 04, 2022
Published: April 01, 2022