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Politics Ontario allowing municipalities to use ranked ballots in 2018 elections

Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin says ranked ballots will also make election campaigns more civil because candidates would have to be more engaged in substantive debate, instead of just trying to get whatever percentage of the vote that will see them win.

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Ontario municipalities will have the option of using ranked ballots in the next municipal elections in 2018.

The preferential ballots let voters rank candidates instead of voting for a single person.

Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin says ranked ballots will give the winning candidate a much higher percentage of the vote and a broader mandate.

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He says ranked ballots will also make election campaigns more civil because candidates would have to be more engaged in substantive debate, instead of just trying to get whatever percentage of the vote that will see them win.

Ontario will convene a working group of municipal representatives and ranked ballot advocates to provide advice on how to best implement a new system, and as well is inviting public input until July 27.

The government is also reviewing the Municipal Elections Act to look at changing rules around campaign financing, third-party advertising, accessibility and enforcing municipal election rules.

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