Frequently Asked and Common Voter Questions and Answers:

All the important information you're looking for is here, in one convenient location.  Common voter questions and answers about internet eVoting can also be found here.

Got a question? Check here first and if you don't see the answer to your question then feel free to contact us by phone or email:  ThunderBayVotes@thunderbay.ca.

When is Election Day?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Voting by internet and phone will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

Advance Polls/In-person (paper ballot) voting will begin at 10:00 a.m. as follows:


West Thunder Community Centre

  •   Tuesday, October 9, 2018
  •   Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre

  •   Thursday, October 11, 2018
  •   Friday, October 12, 2018

Advance Polls will be open 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day.

 What are we voting for?
Overall, we're voting to establish a new city council and the school boards.  Each voter is entitled to vote for:
  • One (1) vote for a candidate for Mayor.
  • Five (5) votes for candidates for Councillors At Large.
  • One (1) vote for a candidate for Ward Councillor.
  • Trustees for the school board you support:

If you are an English-Public supporter, you may vote for eight (8) trustees for the Lakehead District School Board.

If you are an English-Separate supporter, you may vote for six (6) trustees for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board.

If you are a French-Public supporter, you may vote one (1) trustee for the Conseil scolaire public du District du Grand Nord de l'Ontario.  Please note that this office has been acclaimed - there will be no voting for this position.

If you are a French-Separate supporter you may vote five (5) trustees for the Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales.  Please note that these 5 positions have been acclaimed - there will be no voting for these positions.

 How do I find out about who is running in the Election?
Voters can visit the Candidates page on the City's Election website to see a full list of registered candidates.  Profiles for registered candidates can be found by clicking on the candidate's name.

Nominations opened on May 1, 2018 and closed on July 27, 2018.

 Who is eligible to vote?
Every person is qualified to vote in City of Thunder Bay's Municipal Election if he/she:
  • Resides in Thunder Bay or is the owner or tenant of land here, or the spouse of such a person. 
  • Is a Canadian citizen. 
  • Is at least 18 years old.
  • Is not otherwise prohibited from voting (see "Who is ineligible to vote").

Landed immigrants cannot vote - you have to be a Canadian Citizen.

You may vote only once in a municipal election, regardless of how many properties you own or rent within the city. If you own or rent more than one property, you must vote where you live.


Ontario electors are encouraged to visit www.voterlookup.ca to ensure their information is correctly recorded in anticipation of the 2018 Municipal & School Board Elections.

 Who is ineligible to vote?
A person is not entitled to vote, if that person is:
  • Serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution. 
  • Acting as an executor or in any other representative capacity, except as a voting proxy. 
  • Convicted of a corrupt practice for an election held within four years of voting day. 
  • Note: Corporations are not eligible to vote.
 Are landed immigrants entitled to vote in the municipal election?
No. You must be a Canadian citizen.
Can I vote if I have no fixed address or no home?
Eligible voters who are homeless, or without a permanent home or fixed address, can still vote. Their qualifying address will be determined by:
  • The location to which they most frequently returned to sleep or eat during the five weeks prior to the election, since this is considered to be their residence.
  • The location where they returned to sleep, if they returned with equal frequency to one place to sleep and another to eat.
 Am I on the Voters' List? How do I check?

The Voters' List for the City of Thunder Bay identifies each person who meets the voter qualifications and is registered and eligible to vote. It also provides their address and which school board they support and can vote for.The list is prepared by Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). It is important to check the Voters' List to ensure your name is on it.

The Voters' List will be posted in late September 2018 in the Office of the City Clerk and at the Thunder Bay Public Libraries.

Who will get a Voter Instruction Letter (VIL) with a PIN to vote in the election?
All qualified electors (see "Who is eligible to vote") on the official Municipal Electors' List provided by the municipality.
 What if my name is not on the Electors' List?

Eligible electors who are not on the official Electors' List will have to go to the Office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 500 E. Donald Street, Thunder Bay, and complete the required form (Form EL15) to have their name added to the Elector List. Once this is completed, you will be given a VIL by the Election Official.

When should I expect to receive my PIN in the mail?
Individual PINs will be mailed to eligible electors so that they are received approximately
three (3) to five (5) days prior to the first voting day. Voting begins by internet, phone, and in-person (paper ballot) voting on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 (for more information, see "When is Election Day").
What if I don't get a PIN in the mail by Election Day?
If you are an eligible elector and on the official Electors' List, but you did not get a PIN in the mail by the start of the election period, you can request a replacement PIN. If the Election Official's records indicate you were sent a PIN in the mail, the original PIN will be disabled and cannot be used to cast a vote in the election. A replacement PIN will be issued to you if the original PIN has not been voted and you provide appropriate identification.  To request a replacement PIN, please call our Voter Help Centre at 1-833-724-7312.
Why would I not get a PIN in the mail?

If you didn't get a PIN in the mail, one of two things may have happened:

First, your name was not on the official Electors' List. PINs are only mailed to electors whose names appear on the official Electors' List as supplied by the municipality.     

Secondly, a PIN may have been mailed to you and it has been delayed for some reason in the mail system.

Can anyone tell how I voted if they know my PIN?
No. The system does not track how a particular PIN has voted; only that the PIN has been used to cast a vote. 
Once I have my PIN, do I have to register in advance if I want to use either the telephone or the Internet to cast my vote?
No. There is no registration required. During the election period, using your PIN, you can use either the telephone or the Internet to cast your vote or vote using a paper ballot if this is offered by the municipality.
What if I lose or misplace my PIN?
If an elector loses or misplaces their PIN they should contact the Voter HelpLine. The Election Official can decide to replace the missing PIN if it has not already been voted. They will determine if a voter has to travel to a location, sign a form, and then replace the missing PIN, or they can decide to allow the Voter HelpLine agent to authenticate the caller and issue a replacement PIN. In both cases, the original lost or missing PIN will be disabled and it will not be able to be voted in the election.      
How do I access the voting system?

Voting instructions will be included in the Voter Instruction Letter (VIL) mailed to each eligible
elector on the official Elector List. Included in this information are instructions on how to access the voting system. When voting opens, voters can cast their ballot using the telephone or cell phone by calling the following toll free number:  1-833-461-6675. Voters using personal computers will use the Internet to visit the following website that will allow them entry into the voting system where they can cast their vote:  thunderbay.evote2018.ca


Once I enter my PIN and start my voting process, do I have to complete all the races on the ballot in one session?  For example, what if I am interrupted and have to hang up the phone for some reason, or, if I am voting using the Internet
and have to leave my session?
No, you do not have to vote all the races on your ballot at one time uninterrupted. You can disconnect from the Internet or the telephone and re-connect later, re-enter your PIN, and complete your voting activity at that time. In fact, if you find it more convenient, you can switch from one method to the other and complete your voting using the other method. For example, you can start your voting on the Internet and at some point close your Internet session, and then later re-start the voting process and re-enter your PIN using your phone or cell phone and complete your ballot.
What happens if I access the voting system and am presented with incorrect candidates for my ward?

The list of candidates presented to you as a voter is determined by your place of residence as defined on the Elector List. If you have moved and your new address was not updated on the Elector List, (and your Voter Instruction letter and PIN were forwarded to your new address), then you will see the list of candidates associated with your old place of residence. You should call the Voter HelpLine and the Election Official will authenticate you and, if satisfied, can then electronically “re-categorize” the PIN. The correct list of candidates will be presented to you once you re-connect to the voting system.

What do I do if I am not sure if I completed a race or the ballot?

During the voting period you can connect to the voting system and enter your PIN. If you have yet to complete all ballots assigned to you, the system will begin where you left off - at the next race you are eligible to complete. When you have completed voting all ballots assigned to you, entering your PIN online in the voting system during the voting period will display a message containing your vote status. This message will advise if you have completed voting. You can also contact the Voter HelpLine to get more information.

If I am using the telephone to vote, how will I know what number to press to vote for the candidate of my choice or what if I make a mistake and select a different candidate than the one I want to vote for?

The Voter Instruction letter mailed to you has the list of candidates included on it for your reference purpose.  In addition, each time the system presents you with a race to vote for; it lists the eligible candidates running for that position and instructs you to select the corresponding number for that candidate. You may also clear your ballot selections and start over.

Once a vote has been confirmed, can it be changed?

No. Once a vote has been confirmed it cannot be changed. This process is the same as dropping the ballot into the ballot box in a traditional paper based election ensuring complete voter anonymity and secrecy of ballot. The system does not know how the ballot was voted; only that the PIN was used in the election to cast a vote and thus it cannot be removed from the vote count.

How do I vote if I am away from home, out of town, out of the province, or out of the country?

You can vote during the election voting period using the Internet from anywhere in the world.       You can also use telephone service and connect to the voting system toll free from anywhere in North America simply by dialing the toll free number contained in your Voter Instruction letter.

What if I have a rotary phone at home, no cell phone and don’t have a computer with Internet service.  How can I vote?

You do not have to vote from home. You can vote from any location using any phone with touch tone service or from any computer. You can also vote in person at the in-person polling stations; the City of Thunder Bay is offering PCs at these locations as well as paper ballots in concert with the electronic voting options. The location of the polling stations can be found in the Voter Instruction letters sent to eligible electors.

If someone calls me and asks for my PIN, what should I do?
You should treat your voting PIN with the same level of secrecy and confidentially you reserve for your bank card and PIN. Do not give your PIN to anyone who may call or approach you for the number. 
What do I do if the phone line is busy when I call and try to vote?

If the phone lines are busy, simply hang up and call back a short time later. The voting system is capable of handling a significant volume of calls simultaneously but there is always the possibility that many voters are attempting to call in the same timeframe. Voters will be able to connect to the system over the course of a number of days during the voting period - from 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 9, 2018 until the close of Voting Day at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 22, 2018.

Could someone steal my PIN and vote with it?
Stealing and opening another person’s mail is illegal.  It is also illegal to represent yourself as another person and steal their right to vote in an election. Both these acts are illegal and have
penalties defined by law. 

If you know someone has voted your PIN illegally you should report it to the Election Official. You can obtain a replacement PIN to cast your vote by presenting yourself to the Election Official and swearing an affidavit that the PIN assigned to you was not voted by you but by someone else. 
If I am a voter with a disability; deafness, blindness, or a mobility disability, can someone help me with the voting process?

Electronic voting allows increased rights of privacy to voters with physical challenges that make traditional voting at polling stations more difficult. Blind voters can make use of the telephone and deaf voters can use the Internet to vote with little or no assistance required from others. If you need assistance at the polling station to cast your vote, the Election Official present will be able to assist you.

Would it be possible for me to be sent more than one PIN?

If you received more than one PIN it is because your name appeared on the Elector List more than once. This rare situation might occur if you changed your place of residence and have been enumerated in both locations or you own property and are the registered resident at both locations. You are only permitted to vote once in a municipality and you should only cast a vote using the PIN associated with your primary place of residence. Notify the Election Official of the additional PIN and they will disable this PIN rendering it unusable for the election.




2018 City of Thunder Bay Elections