63% of Kingstonians voted in favour of a ranked ballot as they took part in the 2018 municipal election on Monday, October 22nd. While not legally binding to City Council because voter turnout was less than 50%, Yes Kingston, an organization which campaigned heavily in favour of the ranked ballot over the current first-past-the-post system, says that the results give Kingston City Council a clear mandate to pass legislation adopting the ranked ballot format for the 2022 election.
“The mandate from the people of Kingston to City Council is straightforward and clear,” said Yes Kingston in a press release. “(Kingstonians) engaged in a vigorous referendum campaign informed by a City-run awareness effort and grassroots advocacy that demonstrated the democratic spirit of Kingston. Both advocates and detractors had a chance to make their voices heard. At the end of this democratic process, the people’s choice was made clear, and a clear majority wants Ranked Ballots.”
It will now be up to a newly-elected city council, mostly made up of rookie councillors and led by re-elected mayor Bryan Paterson, to debate on the question and decide whether to abide by the referendum results or to set them aside.