Elections Ontario urging voters to avoid ballot boxes altogether in June vote

By Canadian Press

Elections Ontario is encouraging residents to request mail-in ballots or take advantage of extra days of advanced voting this year in the hopes of thinning election day crowds amid COVID-19.

When voters show up on June 2, they will see floor signage for physical distancing, Plexiglas screens, hand sanitizer and masks available – face coverings won’t be required of voters or staff but will be supplied.

But chief electoral officer Greg Essensa is hoping many voters consider avoiding ballot boxes on June 2 altogether.

Some new features for this election include the option to go online to request a mail-in ballot, and 10 days of advanced voting instead of five.

Essensa says other provinces that have held pandemic elections have seen significant increases in demand for voting by mail, and in last year’s federal election, 300,000 of the mail-in ballots came from Ontario.

Elections Ontario has also launched a new app, which will let voters map their poll locations, see candidate information and options on ways to vote and get notifications when a new candidate is registered.

It also provides an electronic version of the voter information card, complete with barcode.

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