Cast your ballot: advance polls open on Manitoulin and across Ontario

Jim Griffin, a staffer with Elections Ontario in Little Current, poses behind a voting screen with a copy of a special ballot, which voters can use to vote from now until Election Day.

LITTLE CURRENT—With the election less than one month away, the staff of Elections Ontario’s Manitoulin satellite office in Little Current is ready for the Island population to cast their ballot ahead of time, and even make house calls.

Once again the Elections Ontario office for Manitoulin can be found in downtown Little Current in the former Edgewater Restaurant with a host of friendly staff ready to help you vote in advance of the June 12 election, or to answer any questions voters might have.

Jim Griffin, a first-time Elections Ontario staffer, was manning the office on Monday afternoon. The office is open daily right until Election Day, Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and on Sunday from 12 to 5 pm. Any Ontario resident, who is also a Canadian citizen, can vote. All they need to do is show up with a valid piece of photo identification, he says.

As the ballots have not been printed yet (nominations only just closed last Thursday), voters will be read the names of the candidates and are asked to print the name of the candidate they are voting for behind the voting screen provided (making sure the name is spelled correctly) before casting the ballot.

“And if you’re not able to come in and vote, we will provide you with a home visit,” Mr. Griffin said. Elections Ontario workers Bruce Burnett and Maureen Armstrong are special ballot officers who will bring the ballot directly to your home.

“Those who can’t make it to the office can also be sent a special mail-in ballot,” Mr. Griffin added. To receive this ballot, voters must first request a special ballot application, which will require a signature. This can be done by calling the office at 705-368-1221 or 705-368-0660, faxing 705-368-2971 or emailing sbo_002s2@elections.on.ca. Once the application is approved, the Elections Ontario team will then send a package in the mail which includes a ballot, secrecy envelope and a return envelope to mail it all back in.

To request a home visit, please call these same numbers or send in an email. To speak with Mary Smith, other election official and boss of the Manitoulin operation, please call 705-368-1594.

“All you have to do is phone and we will arrange everything,” Mr. Griffin explained.

“I’m just amazed at how comprehensive it all is,” he added, glancing around the office. “It’s tremendous.”

Advance polls, with official ballots that list all of the five candidates, begin this Sunday, June 1 until Friday, June 6, but special ballots will be available before and after the advance polls close.

The Elections Ontario office is located at 1 Water Street West in downtown Little Current.