A cut-out image of a strong woman stands, holding a VOTE sign aloft above her head. The background of the piece is a cacophony of colours, etched and painted, sprayed and splattered across the canvas in the style of Mr. Brainwash.

Drawing inspiration from Mr. Brainwash, this vibrant piece centres a protester holding aloft a vote sign, symbolizing the significance that voting has. It is loud and impactful, as voices should be in their election riding. If you don’t vote, then you don’t get a say. Understanding your electoral candidates is a key piece of this.

Original artwork by Surface Impression (Aedán Crooke) for the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The artwork was done using Adobe Stock Images.

Image provided in English only.

Town of Whitby

Plan Your Vote campaign boosts participation in 2022 election

The Town of Whitby created an online navigation tool for the 2022 municipal election to help candidates share their platforms and give electors much easier access to information to inform their voting decisions.

The Plan Your Vote initiative of the Town of Whitby, Ontario, for the 2022 municipal election is a great example of how open data can have a direct and positive impact on civic engagement.

Plan Your Vote involved the creation of an online election navigation tool that enabled candidates in the 2022 Municipal Election to submit information about themselves and their platforms, to more easily reach voters. Through the town’s new online tool, electors could then quickly and easily access not only their status on the voters’ list and voting location, but obtain helpful, detailed information about municipal candidates.

In previous years, the town had only shared names and contact information online, and electors had to research candidates and their platforms independently. Meanwhile, reduced local media coverage made it increasingly difficult for candidates to share their platforms and for people to access information that would help inform their decisions.

To ensure the site was rich with helpful information from candidates and that electors were aware of the online tool, the town initiated a multi-faceted outreach campaign to communicate with both candidates and electors and generate their engagement. As a result, 92% of candidates submitted their information and it was made available online. Plan Your Vote was equally helpful in helping the individuals get out there and make their vote count. A survey suggests 33% of voters used the tool, an overwhelming 96% of them were satisfied with it, and 70% said that locating candidate information was the most helpful feature.