Ottawa 123 pushes for change in how city votes in 2018
Ontario government lets municipalities have the choice to switch next election
A group of Ottawa residents is pushing for a new way of voting in the next municipal election.
Ottawa 123 wants the city to move to a ranked voting system instead of the traditional “first-past-the-post” one used in federal, provincial and municipal elections. It's an option promised, then made available by the Liberals in this summer’s provincial election.
Ranked voting would allow voters to choose their first, second and third choices for councillor or mayor.
If no candidate has more than 50 per cent of the first-place votes, a computer will check the second and if necessary, third-place votes until one candidate reaches that 50 per cent mark.
Colum Grove-White, who is involved with Ottawa 123, said ranked voting is a benefit to voters.
"More fair and more diverse elections for the city of Ottawa," he said.
In Innes ward, nine candidates are running to replace outgoing councillor Rainer Bloess,
"This riding is a good prospect for ranked choice because there are so many people," Coralee Sheehan said at an Innes ward debate.
"First-past-the-post, we know people get elected with 17 to 20 per cent of the vote, which isn't really a majority, so most of the people didn't vote for that person."
Grove-White said four current councillors support ranked voting but incumbent mayor Jim Watson hasn’t come on board.
An online petition in favour of ranked choice voting had the support of 1,600 as of Saturday morning.
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