You get one vote: Elections Ontario
October 5, 2011
PARRY SOUND MUSKOKA – In Parry Sound-Muskoka some people may have two homes, but that does not allow them to vote in the upcoming provincial election twice, say election officials.
Ontario’s provincial election takes place Thursday, Oct. 6, and according to Elections Ontario each resident is allowed to vote. But unlike in municipal elections, voters are allowed only one ballot.
For example, if someone has a home in the Greater Toronto Area as well as cottage country, that person can only vote in the electoral district where his or her permanent lodging is located.
According to the province’s Election Act, a person can only have one permanent residence in Ontario for the purposes of the act. When electors go to vote, they will be required to make an oath to be added to the voters’ list, swearing that they have not voted in any other electoral district for the election.
There are also safeguards in place preventing a voter from casting two ballots, said Elections Ontario.
To vote, someone must be on the voters’ list or be added to the voters’ list. Identification must be shown to be issued a ballot or to be added to the list.
Once someone has voted, that fact is recorded, said election officials. During the election and afterward, Elections Ontario reviews this information and can detect if people vote twice.
That someone has voted, but not whom they voted for, is entered into a computer. According to election officials, this allows them to crosscheck who has already voted in advanced polls and who has voted in other electoral districts.
If election officials or the scrutineers for a candidate believe that someone is not qualified to vote, the person may be challenged and may also be required to swear a declaration that he or she is eligible to vote.
It is an offence to vote more than once, said Elections Ontario. Voting while not being qualified to do so, voting more than once or voting in an electoral district other than the one in which the voter’s permanent residence is located may result in a fine of $5,000, according to the Election Act.
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