Hamilton·Hamilton Votes 2022

Everything you need to know about voting in Hamilton's 2022 municipal election

There are 45 days, or 1,079 hours, until Oct. 24 — the day Hamiltonians cast their ballots and decide who their mayor, councillors and school board trustees will be for the next four years. Here's your one-stop-shop for voting this year.

City introduces mail-in voting and special voting for students, Indigenous people and unhoused people

There are lots of ways to vote in this year's municipal election without visiting a polling station on the big day. (Al MacCormick/CBC)

There are 45 days, or 1,079 hours, until Oct. 24 — the day Hamiltonians cast their ballots and decide who their mayor, councillors and school board trustees will be for the next four years.

Elections can be exhausting, stressful and tedious, but they are the official way people decide some of the individuals who will make decisions about our streets, neighbourhoods, schools and the city as a whole.

Here's your one-stop-shop on voting for this year's municipal election.

Who can vote?

Voters must be Canadian citizens aged 18 or older.

You can also vote in Hamilton's municipal election only if:

  • You live in the city.
  • You or your spouse owns property in the city.
  • You are a student who is living in Hamilton for school, but also lives in a different city.

This means you can vote in multiple cities, if it applies.

For example, if you study in Hamilton but live in Waterloo, you can vote in both locations.

Hamilton is also divided up by wards, which means you can only vote in your ward.

For school board elections, people can vote in numerous school board elections as long as they own or rent a residential property in an area they don't live in.

For example, if you own a home in Hamilton and another in Kingston, Ont., you'd be eligible in both.

Voters are automatically eligible to vote for the English language public school board.

To vote for another school board like the Catholic board, public French board or Catholic French board, certain steps must be taken.

You have to indicate your support for the school board you want to vote for via the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). That has to be done online before election day.

To vote for the Catholic or French Catholic board, you must be Roman Catholic.

To vote for the French public school board, you must be a French-language rights holder.

Am I eligible to vote?

You have to be on the voter's list to cast a ballot.

You can check through the city by checking their website or calling 905-546-2489.

If you're not on the list, you can apply to your municipal clerk and have until the close of voting on Oct. 24, 2022 to apply for any changes.

When applying, you'll have to prove you are eligible to vote.

If you're not on the voter's list on election day, you can still vote, it'll just take more time on election day because they'll have to add you to the list.

You'll just need to bring a piece of ID with your name and qualifying Hamilton address.

If you didn't get your voter's card in the mail, you can still vote.

Also, people without a permanent address can vote. They can list the place where they've returned to most often to eat or sleep in the past five weeks as their home.

People without an ID can also vote, so long as they fill out a Declaration of Identity - Form 9 at a voting location.

You can't vote if you're serving a sentence in prison or a correctional institution.

How can I vote?

When you vote, you need to show identification with your name and address. A photo ID isn't required.

You can find a list of acceptable forms of ID here.

You can vote at your designated polling station on election day or on advanced polling days — Oct. 7, 8, 14 and 15.

Each ward will have a polling station with an accessibility tabulator on election day and all advanced polls will have a tabulator for people living with disabilities. Polling locations can be found here.

You can vote by mail if you fill out an application online or by phone.

Ballot-on-demand allows students at McMaster University, Mohawk College and Redeemer University to vote on campus on Oct. 18.

Some drop-in shelters will have their own ballot-on-demand polls on Oct. 21 for people experiencing homelessness and people living in shelters.

The Hamilton Regional Indian Centre will also have ballot-on-demand polls on Oct. 21 for Indigenous voters.

Ballot-on-demand voting allows these groups to vote at these locations regardless of their ward or where they live in Hamilton.

Can someone vote for me?

You can also have someone vote on your behalf, known as a voting proxy.

That person can only vote on one person's behalf unless they're voting on behalf of immediate family members like spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren.

To appoint a voting proxy, you need to complete the Appointment for Voting Proxy – Form 3 and have the city clerk or designate certify it in person.

The city clerk's office can provide you with those forms.

Even a person acting as executor or trustee for someone must be certified via the form.

You can book an appointment by emailing elections@hamilton.ca or by calling 905-546-4365.

Upcoming election debates

Cable 14 is hosting debates for every ward between Sept. 13 and Sept. 27.

The mayoral debate is Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.

Here's the schedule for the ward debates:

  • Ward 1 - Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 2 - Sept. 13 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ward 3 - Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 4 - Sept. 14 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ward 5 - Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 6 - Sept. 15 at 9 p.m.
  • Ward 7 - Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 8 - Sept. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ward 9 - Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 10 - Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ward 11 - Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 12 - Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ward 13 - Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.
  • Ward 14 - Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ward 15 - Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bobby Hristova is a journalist with CBC Hamilton. He reports on all issues, but has a knack for stories that hold people accountable, stories that focus on social issues and investigative journalism. He previously worked for the National Post and CityNews in Toronto. You can contact him at bobby.hristova@cbc.ca.

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