Voter participation in municipal elections is important, with choices made at the polls directly impacting our everyday lives.
With several municipal and school board candidates on this fall's ballot, it's essential to be informed. Luckily, easy-to-use resources are available to help Markham residents prepare to vote.
An individual must be a resident, owner, or tenant of property in Ontario, a Canadian citizen, and 18 years of age or older on election day to be eligible to vote. To confirm registration, visit voterlookup.ca or call the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) at 1-866-296-6722 or TTY 1-877-889-6722.
It is the responsibility of every voter to make sure their information is up-to-date and accurately reflected for electoral purposes. Eligible voters can confirm or update their electoral information, add an elector's name to an address, and change school support for voting in a school board election.
A voter may cast a ballot only once, regardless of the number of properties owned or rented or the number of voting dates available. Voting will occur for the following municipal positions: Mayor, Regional Councillor (up to four), Ward Councillor, and School Board Trustee.
Electionsmarkham.ca provides an up-to-date list of registered candidates.
Voting takes place from October 14 to election day on October 24, with online or in-person voting options available. Any resident unable to vote independently, either in-person or online, may request a home visit. Online voting is open from October 14 at 10 a.m. to October 24 at 8 p.m.
A new feature on electionsmarkham.ca is the Elections Markham Virtual Assistant. The City of Markham partnered with IBM Canada to launch this valuable new tool that gives voters instant, reliable, accurate information about the upcoming municipal election.
The virtual assistant offers 24-hour support for voters looking for credible, timely election information and can answer your questions – anywhere, anytime. IBM Watson Assistant uses artificial intelligence (AI) to address voters' inquiries online, creating conversational experiences.
Assistance with registration, voting online, and candidate donation questions are among the several answers residents can find using the Elections Markham Virtual Assistant.
"With 250 hours to vote in the upcoming municipal election from October 14 to 24, this innovation will significantly enhance the voter experience, break down barriers and support an inclusive and accessible election experience for everyone," said Kimberley Kitteringham, city clerk and returning officer, City of Markham.
Visit electionsmarkham.ca or call 905-477-7000 x8683 for election information.
Jennifer McLaughlin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Markham Review