By Chad Ingram
Published Feb. 23 2017
Algonquin Highlands council has passed on the use of the ranked ballot system for the 2018 municipal election.
Last year the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing granted municipalities the option of using the ranked ballot system starting with the 2018 municipal elections if they so choose.
In the ranked ballot system voters rank their preferred candidates in order on ballots. If a candidate receives the majority of the votes that candidate wins. If no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the votes then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the votes are redistributed accordingly. This process repeats until one candidate accrues the majority of votes.
A report from chief administrative officer Angie Bird recommended against the use of the method.
“It’s a complicated process” Bird told councillors at a Feb. 16 meeting. “It’s not really something that fits this small municipality.”
“Ranked ballots make no sense in a ward system” said Reeve Carol Moffatt noted that often wards have only two candidates each. “One wins and one loses.”
Other councillors agreed with no appetite to change the voting system.
A report from the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario showed the majority of clerks who responded to a survey intended to recommend against the use of ranked ballots.