We are in a pandemic. How will this affect Community Council elections?
 
Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the process for conducting Community Council Elections has been modified. Until it is determined to be safe to do so, Community Council Elections will not be conducted including any in-person voting. Processes have been put in place for citizens to be able to cast their vote either online or over the telephone.
 
Where can I find the rules surrounding Community Council elections?
 
Community Council elections are governed by the MNO Electoral Code: Part B, last updated February 2002. Elections of the Métis Nation of Ontario are also governed by the MNO Electoral Code: Part A. The most recent version of this Code is dated August 24, 2019, reflecting amendments made at the 2019 MNO AGA. MNO elections are also governed by the Métis Nation of Ontario Policy #2019-003: Policy On Electronic and Telephone Voting (August 2019). Finally, MNO Electoral Code: Part B states that the PCMNO may take any steps necessary to ensure the good conduct of Community Council elections.  At their meeting December 5-6, 2020, PCMNO resolved three things by consensus related to Community Council elections:
 
  1. That electronic and telephone voting are acceptable methods of voting for Community Council elections in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
  2. Waiving the requirements to post election announcements, voters lists and candidate lists in Community Council offices (until such time as PCMNO directs or the Code is amended by Special Resolution at an Annual General Assembly).
  3. And waiving the requirement for signatures on nomination papers (until such time as PCMNO directs or the Code is amended by Special Resolution at an Annual General Assembly).
What has been arranged to facilitate online and telephone elections? 
 
To support Community Council elections, MNO has engaged OneFeather, an independent company that will execute the online and telephone voting for MNO’s Community Council elections. OneFeather is an independent, Indigenous-owned election services company. OneFeather has more than 20 years of elections management experience and is a leader in Indigenous election administration and a pioneer of electoral technology and best practices.
 
OneFeather has provided an Election Officer dedicated to supporting all MNO Community Council elections. This Election Officer has sworn an Oath of Office to follow all the rules that govern MNO elections (including MNO Electoral Code Part B), including privacy and confidentiality. OneFeather is the partner that provided voting support to MNO for the 2020 PCMNO elections
 
How will I be able to vote?
 
Electors in Community Council elections will be able to vote online, or by telephone.
 
How long will the polls be open?
 
For Community Council elections, it has been arranged with OneFeather that on-line voting for will be available for 7 full days for electors to cast ballots (24 hrs per day). There will be a different link for each Council, sent to every elector by mail. Arrangements have also been made to provide two opportunities for electors to cast a ballot by telephone: for 4 hours (5pm-9pm) on the first day of voting and for an additional 4 hours (5pm-9pm) on the last (the 7th) day of the Community Council’s voting. This is to say that there will be a total of 8 hours when polls will be open for electors to vote by telephone.
 
How does telephone voting work?
 
In order to facilitate secure and private voting for Citizens, during the 8 hours of telephone voting, the telephone line is staffed by OneFeather’s dedicated Election Officer. This is different than it was for the PCMNO election, when an automated answering machine collected telephone votes.
 
The following is how telephone voting will work in Community Council elections:
 
  • Citizens can call the OneFeather Election Officer at 1-855-923-3006 between the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm on the first and last day of the online voting period;
  • The OneFeather Election Officer will verify their identification and have the elector declare the following:

I, [Citizen Name] permit OneFeather to be marking and casting a ballot as directed by the [Citizen Name] and that the [Citizen Name] explicitly agrees and consents to this process and are doing so of their own free will without compulsion.

  • Having completed the declaration Citizens will advise the Election Officer of their choice on the Ballot. The OneFeather Election Officer will mark a ballot, and the ballot will be entered into a secure ballot box;
  • The Citizen will be recorded as having voted by telephone – it is not possible for electors to vote both by telephone and online.
  • At the close of all polls (telephone and online) OneFeather tallies all ballots and documents the outcome.
  • At the end close of all voting in a Community Council election, the OneFeather Election Officer submits a complete record of voting to the Métis Nation of Ontario and returns all paper ballots to the Métis Nation of Ontario Electoral Officer.
 
How will I find out about my Community Council’s election?
 
Every eligible voter will receive a package by mail with detail about their Community Council election, including information about how to run for a position, how to vote, and who to contact with any questions or concerns. Please make sure that MNO Registry has your current mailing address! (Registry can be reached at: 1-855-798-1006).
 
What can I do if I am having difficulty voting?
 
If citizens have any issues or difficulty voting online, they can call the OneFeather toll-free at 1-855-923-3006.  OneFeather Elections Officer will return their call to answer any questions.
 
What if I have other questions about Community Council Elections?
 
To help conduct Community Council elections, as per MNO Electoral Code: Part B every council appoints an Electoral Officer or committee.  Glen Lipinski from the Community Relations has offered to serve as Electoral Officer for Community Council elections at this time. Glen can be contacted at any time to answer questions or offer assistance at GlenL@metisnation.org or 905-351-4421.