Voting in Barrie’s municipal election: Phone it in or go online

The city used internet voting in a 2020 by-election in Ward 3

From the comfort of your home, Barrie residents can choose a new mayor, city council and school board trustees without having to get off the couch.

The city has scrapped in-person voting for the Oct. 24 municipal election and will be using internet and telephone voting. This is the first time Barrie has used this method city-wide.

“People can vote at their own convenience 24/7,” says city clerk Wendy Cooke. “There will be a 10-day continuous voting period. If a person feels uncomfortable or has challenges voting at home and wants some assistance, there will be 10 voter assistance centres set up throughout the city in a few days leading up to the final voting day on Oct. 24.”

The voting method being used by Barrie is nothing new.

“A number of municipalities have done internet voting in the past,” says Cooke. “We did it for a by-election in 2020 (Ward 3), and it worked very well, and we got good feedback on it. It’s just a good accessible way for voters to vote.”

She says some people experience challenges getting to some of the advanced voting locations or just don’t have the opportunity to vote in person.

Asked if the city hopes this method will increase voter turnout, that is something Cooke isn’t sure about.

“Voter turnout doesn’t always depend on the voting method, but we’re hoping it does increase the voter turnout, for sure.”

Registered voters will receive a voter information letter in the mail containing their voting PIN together with other voting information. The voting PIN is required to access and submit your ballot in the municipal election.

Residents who have not received their voter information letter by Oct. 11, 2022 should call 705-728-VOTE (8683) or visit city hall at 70 Collier Street, 1st Floor (Election Office).

Friday, October 14, 2022Voting Period commences at 10am
Thursday, October 20–Saturday, October 22, 2022Advance Voting Period available at Voting Assistance Centres
Monday, October 24, 2022Final Voting Day – closes at 8pm

Municipal election information can be found here.