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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the 2022 Municipal Election?

The 2022 municipal elections are being held from Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 10:00am to Monday, October 24, 2022 at 8pm. Hastings Highlands electors should receive a Voting PIN Letter in the mail in the end of September, or early October.

Why does the Municipality use Internet Telephone voting?

Like many other municipalities in Ontario (197 to be exact), Municipal Council initially approved the switch to Internet Telephone voting from vote by mail for the 2018 election.

There are many advantages to adopting this method of voting:
Emergency Preparedness: Voting by Internet or Telephone does not require any large gatherings at polling stations, and allows voters to vote from the comfort and safety of their home if future emergency stay-at-home orders are issued due to the Pandemic;
Efficiency: reduces printing, return postage fees, staff time for vote counting, and the amount of paper utilized;
Accessibility: Internet Telephone Voting is a convenient option for electors allowing them to use their own devices and access their ballots anytime during the voting period, and from anywhere with Internet or Telephone access;
Accuracy: Internet Telephone voting uses electronic ballots exclusively reducing counting error from manual tabulations;
Automatic Tabulation: 100% of the results will be available shortly after 8:00 p.m. on October 24, once electors have completed their voting (if they logged in before 8:00 p.m. or were in line at the Voter Help Centre shortly after 8:00 p.m.);
Convenience: Thousands of Hastings Highlands non-resident electors do not live in Hastings Highlands, and therefore should be given the equal opportunity to vote as those who live here. Every elector will be able to vote from a location of their convenience. Also, compared to vote by mail from the 2014 and past elections, voters will no longer need to find a postal box, or rely on the postal service to ensure their ballot was returned back to the Municipality.

Will there be any paper ballots available for electors?

No paper ballots are needed. Hastings Highlands is using the alternative vote method of Internet-Telephone Voting for the 2022 Municipal Election, therefore this will be the municipality’s second paperless-ballot election. This has been selected as the option for electors to ensure that all electors (whether those that live in Hastings Highlands, or abroad) get an equal opportunity to vote, and to ensure safety for all electors.

When will the Election Office be opened?

The Municipal Elections Voter Help Centre will be open at the Municipal Office (33011 Hwy 62 Maynooth, ON) beginning in September in order to get yourself on the voters’ list. Stay tuned for details!

When will I receive a Voter Instruction Letter

Hastings Highlands electors should receive a Voter Instruction Letters in the mail in late September, early October. If you have not received one by the time when voting opens on October 11, contact the Elections Office at [email protected]

What if I receive a duplicate or extra Voter Instruction Letter for myself or someone who’s moved?

If electors receive multiple Voter Instruction Letters (duplicates), this may be because the different elector information files we have in our Voters’ List may have:
Different last/first names (eg: married, and birth names)
Different birth dates on the Voters’ List
Different addresses
and a combination of the above
The Clerk’s Office conducts an extensive review of possible duplicates identified (flagged by our Voters’ List software) before issuing the Voter Instruction Letters. We will remove duplicate names where it is appropriate, but kept both electors if they appear to be twin siblings, or two different people with very similar names/birthdates.
This process has been completed in every Hastings Highlands Election in the past as, it was possible that duplicate Vote by Mail letters/Voter Instruction Letters were mailed to one elector, however each election, some duplicates are discovered following the initial mailing.

What to do with a duplicate? Electors should contact the Elections Office and let us know right away. We will deactivate the duplicate Voter Instruction Letter (by deleting the elector) as soon as possible to ensure the extra PIN cannot be used to vote twice.

Why does this most commonly happen? Our experience with duplicates tells us that often one of the duplicate Voter Instruction Letter is usually not associated with any birthdate information in our Voters’ List software. If this is the case, the ‘duplicate elector’ would not be able to vote with the second PIN, as all electors must enter a valid birth date to vote (the voting system will not allow someone to leave the year of birth blank for security purposes). So, even if someone receives two Voter Instruction Letters, they likely won’t be able to vote with one of them, until they call the Elections Office.

What happens if I am able to vote twice using Hastings Highlands Voter Instruction Letters? All electors when voting must accept the oath that states in part: “Section 89 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended, provides that a person is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000, if they…votes more times than this Act allows;”. If an elector votes twice in Hastings Highlands with either a duplicate Voter Instruction Letter or any another Voter Instruction Letter they are violating the Municipal Elections Act.

Someone moved away that received a Voter Instruction Letter: Electors who received Voter Instruction Letters from family members who have moved away should be advised to send the letters back in the mail “Return to Sender-Moved”.

Will there be Advance Voting?

Technically, our entire election is advance voting. You will have 14 days to vote by Internet-Telephone from Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. to Monday, October 24, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Electors may cast their electronic and telephone votes any time of the day during the voting period.

Who can vote in municipal elections?

You can vote in municipal elections (or be an eligible elector) if, on voting day, you are
A resident of Hastings Highlands, or an owner or tenant of land in Hastings Highlands, or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
A Canadian citizen;
At least 18 years old;  and
Not prohibited from voting by law.

If you are not a resident in Hastings Highlands, to vote for a School Board Trustee, you must be:
An owner or tenant of residential property in the area of jurisdiction of the school board, who does not support any other school board. If you are not sure which board you support, this information can be found on the voters’ list which is available in September. You can contact the office to inquire as whether you are on the Voters’ List or email [email protected].

Am I prohibited by law from voting?

You are prohibited from voting on voting day if you are:
A person serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution;
A corporation;
A person acting as executor or trustee or in another representative capacity, except as a voting proxy;
A person convicted of a corrupt practice for an election held within 5 years of voting day.

Why Should I Vote?

Democracy is based on the fundamental right of the individual to vote.

The Hastings Highlands Municipal Government provides you with a multitude of services that may affect your daily lives such as:
bylaw enforcement,
economic development,
business development,

And those are just some of the services Hastings Highlands offers. Voting gives you a say in how services in your community are run.

Am I registered to vote?

The Voters’ List is compiled and supplied by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) in accordance with legislation. It is compiled from information that they have been supplied with from various sources including returned Enumeration Forms. A paper version of the voters’ list will be available for you to review at the Municipal Office. When the voters’ list become available, feel free to come in and ask to speak to Elections Staff to ensure that your name, address and school-support designation are listed correctly.

How do I add my name or amend my personal information on the Voters’ list?

Starting September 1 2022, you will have an opportunity enquire about the finalized list and add or change your personal information on the Voters’ list.  To do so, you can:
By Phone:
Contact either the Elections Office at 613-338-2811 ext. 277 or 211 or at [email protected] . Provide us with your name and address, and we will send you an Application to Add or Amend the Voters’ List form, if needed.
In Person:
You can also pick up a copy of the form at the Municipal Office.
You can also download a copy of the form from the Municipality’s website. Just print off the form, fill in all the blanks, and come into the office with your required identification and proof of residency.
Note:  We encourage you to get any required changes to us as soon as possible so that we can make sure your name and correct personal information gets on the final, printed version of the voters’ list and so you will receive your Voter Instruction Letter with the initial mailing and avoid delays in receiving your PIN.

If I own more than one property in Hastings Highlands, can I vote more than once?

No. You can vote only once for the offices of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors and School Board Trustee. Your qualifying address, where your name will be on the Voters’ list, will be determined by your primary residence.

If I own property in Hastings Highlands and in other Ontario municipalities, can I vote more than once?

Yes. Qualified electors may vote in each municipality in Ontario that they qualify as an elector. Because of this, you may receive a second Voter Instruction Letter or Vote By Mail ballot if you own or rent property in another municipality and they are mailing out voting kits to eligible voters as well. You can participate in that election as well if you satisfy the voting requirements for that city, town, township or municipality.

Can I vote in Hastings Highlands if I own a cottage or other seasonal residence?

Yes. Qualified electors may vote in each municipality in Ontario that they own property. If you are an owner of a property (or their spouse), you may qualify as an elector, and you will receive a Voter Instruction Letter in the mail so that you can vote from your home.
Trailer owners in campgrounds are tenants of the campground; therefore they are ‘potentially’ eligible electors. Under a timeshare contract, to be eligible, the person must be able to prove that they are entitled to use the land in Hastings Highlands on Election Day (October 22), or for a period of six weeks or more during the calendar year in which the election is held. This period does not have to be consecutive.

Can post-secondary students vote in Municipal Elections?

Yes. Students can vote in the municipality where they attend school, and where they live at home. A person may have residences in two local municipalities at the same time if the person lives in one of the local municipalities in order to attend an education institution but not with the intention of changing his or her permanent lodging place, and the person’s permanent lodging place is in the other local municipality.

Can a person who is homeless (or who has no fixed address) vote?

Yes. Eligible voters who are homeless, or without a permanent home or fixed address, can vote. Their qualifying address will be determined by the place of which they most frequently returned to sleep or eat during the five weeks prior to the election, since this is considered to be their residence; or where they returned to sleep, if they returned with equal frequency to one place to sleep and another to eat.

Can someone else vote on my behalf?

No. You must complete the voting by either Telephone or Internet on your own. You may offer assistance to friends and family, with their permission, but ultimately the secrecy of the ballot is paramount, and you must not interfere with the voting process. Voting assistance will be available during the voting period at the Municipal Office October 11-24, 2022 as well as at the voting pop-up stations (time, location and dates TBA).

Note: It is an offence to utilize a PIN number of another individual, and thereby vote multiple times.

Will I be notified of where and when to vote?

Yes. All electors on the Voters’ List will be mailed a Voter Instruction Letter that will arrive in late September/early October. Electors will be able to cast their ballots from anywhere in North America with a Telephone connection and anywhere in the world with an Internet connection between 10:00 a.m. on October 11, and 8:00 p.m. on October 24.
Electors not receiving a Voter Instruction Letter by early October should contact the Municipal Office.
[email protected].

Voters requiring assistance can visit any of the following locations on the prescribed dates:

Can I get a copy of the Voters’ List?

No. Under Ontario’s Municipal Elections Act, the Clerk can only provide copies of the Voters’ List to registered Candidates, MPs, and MPPs. However, you can inquire if you are on the list at the Municipal Office. You cannot use the Voters’ List to obtain information on other electors.

How much can I donate to a candidate or third party advertiser?

The maximum allowable donation to any one candidate or third party advertiser is $1,200. Any donation above $25.00 must not be made in cash. Donations above $100.00 must be recorded on the Candidate’s Financial Statement that will be made public on the Municipality’s website following the election. Corporations and Trade Unions may not donate to Candidate campaigns, however they may donate to registered Third Party Advertisers.
Contributors are not allowed to make contributions exceeding a total of $5,000.00 to two or more candidates for office on Municipal Council or local school board.

How can I provide feedback on Accessibility?

Anyone who wants to provide feedback on election accessibility may complete the Accessibility Feedback Form online, or in person at the municipal office.

Where can I get election results?

At the close of voting on October 24 at 8:00 p.m., the totals will be electronically tabulated by a central computer and compiled by the Auditor. These results will then be communicated to the Candidates and published on the Municipality’s website and Facebook page.
It is anticipated that 100% of the results will be reported all at one time.

Is the use of the Hastings Highlands logo in candidate’s campaign material an endorsement?

No, the use of the Municipal logo is not an endorsement of a candidate. The Municipality of Hastings Highlands does not endorse any registered candidate or third party advertiser.
The use of the Municipal logo (past or present) is prohibited under the Municipality’s Use of Corporate Resources for Election Purposes Policy.