Kingston City Council asks province to 'respect democracy' on ranked ballot system 

Kingston City Council voted Tuesday to continue its commitment to ranked ballots in the 2022 municipal election despite new legislation from the province that looks to bar the system. 

Council voted 12-1 at its Tuesday meeting to ask the government to back down on the legislation, which was introduced last month in what the Ford Government called a way to keep election systems uniform across the province and to save money. 

The City will now write the area's three MPP's to lobby the government to reverse course and respect the "fundamental principles of democracy," according to the motion passed Tuesday. The City will also seek support from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in its fight. 

The motion was presented by Trillium Councillor Robert Kiley, who said the decision for local elections should be made at the local level. 

A referundum during 2018 municipal election saw about two-thirds of Kingston voters support a move to the ranked ballot system, which was used in the City of London during the last election, but one snag is that the vote is not legally binding as more than 50 per cent of the City's electorate didn't take part in the vote. 

In terms of costs, staff estimate the move to the new electoral system would cost the city over $200,000.