Your vote makes a difference

Gearing up for the 2014 Municipal Election

Guelph, ON, September 30, 2014 – In just a matter of days, Guelph residents will be able to cast their vote online for the first time. The City of Guelph has made it easier for residents to vote for the next City Council and School Board Trustees this year with online voting, an extended advanced voting period and vote anywhere options.

“Elections are one of the most important vehicles residents have to ensure their interests are represented at council. The changes we have introduced are making voting more accessible, convenient and fair for everyone,” says Tina Agnello, Deputy City Clerk. “The addition of advanced online voting means residents can vote from anywhere, at any time. For those who choose to vote in person, the voting locations meet full accessibility standards and some offer accessible voting devices.”

Between online voting, extended advanced in person voting and Election Day, residents will have 19 days or 442 hours to have their say.

During the advanced, in-person, voting period, October 15 to 19, residents will be able to vote at any one of three locations within the city. On Election Day, October 27, residents can vote from any location within their ward.

“We have recognized that residents may not want to vote at the voting location closest to home. It may be easier to vote close to work, a child’s school, the gym or grocery store. Providing multiple voting locations to residents is another way we have opened up the electoral process to engage the community,” says Agnello.

Residents who placed themselves on the voters’ list throughout the summer will be receiving their voter notification cards in the coming days. These cards provide detailed information on when, where and how to vote throughout October. For those who registered after September 19, voter identification numbers will be emailed, usually within one business day.

Residents can still get on the voters’ list through the City’s website, guelph.ca/vote. Registration is open until October 24. Residents who do not get on the voter’s list can still vote in person during the advanced voting period (Oct. 15-19) or on Election Day (Oct. 27).

Election security and accuracy

“We have taken numerous steps to ensure the integrity and security of the voting process. From establishing and adhering to predefined security protocol to undergoing strict logic and accuracy testing for both the internet and in-person voting options,” says Agnello.

The City will be using a test set of ballots, which will give them a known outcome, to ensure complete confidence in the accuracy of the voting systems. When testing the vote tabulators, used for in person voting, adequate safeguards are taken to ensure that the system, or any part of it, that is used for processing and tabulating votes is isolated from all other applications or programs and that no remote devices are capable of gaining access to the system.

The testing phase includes testing the vote tabulators (diagnostic testing), memory cards (used for storing and transferring votes), ballots and reporting of results.

If an error is detected in any test, the cause is determined and corrected. The test will be repeated until an errorless count is confirmed. At the completion of the testing, the entire voting system is locked down prior to the start of the voting period. No system, code or configuration changes can occur during the lock down or once voting has started.

Voting Options

Vote online from anywhere, on any platform, at any time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 12:01 a.m. to Friday, October 24, 2014, 11:59 p.m.

To ensure you have time to register and vote, it is recommended that residents begin the process by 11:30 p.m. and begin voting by 11:59 p.m. Residents who begin to vote prior to 11:59 p.m. will be given 15 minutes to complete their ballot. City staff will be on-hand the evening of October 24 to assist residents where required.

Residents are also encouraged to watch the online voting presentation video on guelph.ca/vote for a demonstration of how the online voting system works.

Advanced voting locations – residents can vote at any location within the city.

All advanced voting locations will offer accessible devices for voting: hand held touch pad, paddles, and sip and puff.

Date & time:
October 15 and 16, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
October 17 and 18, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
October 19, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Locations:
Guelph City Hall, 1 Carden Street, Room 112
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, 683 Woolwich Street
Stone Road Mall, 435 Stone Road West, 2nd Floor, Unit R2

Election Day voting – residents can vote at any location within their ward.

Date & time:  October 27, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Election Results

The City will host an Election Results Evening on October 27 beginning at 8 p.m. in the Gallery at City Hall. A seating area with coffee, tea and cookies will be provided for residents mingling and viewing the results. Unofficial election results can also be viewed live on guelph.ca/vote or the City’s Twitter (@cityofguelph) account and Facebook page. It is anticipated that results will begin to be posted around 8:30 p.m.

Official results will be released on Tuesday, October 28.

Residents looking for more election information or needing assistance can contact the City at 519-837-5625 or visit guelph.ca/vote.

For more information

Tina Agnello
Deputy City Clerk
Corporate and Human Resources
Office of the City Clerk
519-822-1260 extension 2811
tina.agnello@guelph.ca

For media inquiries
Alison Thompson
Communications Officer
Corporate and Human Resources
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2252
226-821-2944 (mobile)
alison.thompson@guelph.ca