September 2015

Visioning Transformation When Failure Is Not An Option: Elections Ontario’s Approach

11:45am-1:30am | Hilton Toronto - 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto

Ontario’s current provincial electoral process is fundamentally the same process that existed a hundred years ago. The elector goes to a designated location in their community where they receive a paper ballot, mark that ballot with a pencil and place it in a ballot box; at the end of the evening the ballots are counted by hand. Electors have the confidence that when they put their ballot in the ballot box it will be counted fairly in a transparent fashion and the results reported will reflect the will of the people. This process has served us well. It is trusted – over 92% of Ontarians have trust in the system – the highest of any electoral agency in the Country. But the system is also unsustainable.

Greg Essensa, Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, talks about the fissure cracks in Ontario’s electoral process and his vision for transformation when failure is not an option.

Essensa is faced with an unsustainable workforce model and obligations to prescriptive legislation. Technology solutions are a possibility but, to date, remain just beyond the horizon. Electoral administration transformation must take place in an environment where the failure of an election is not an option. Specifically, the principles of our democracy: integrity, transparency, secrecy of the vote and one vote per voter are upheld to retain the trust Ontarians have placed in the process.

Join us for a discussion on the future of provincial election administration in Ontario.

Member Pricing:
Individual seat: $89 +HST
Table (seats 10): $800 +HST

Guest Pricing:
Individual: $110 +HST
Table (seats 10): $990 +HST

*Formal remarks at 12 p.m., lunch to follow

Visioning Transformation When Failure Is Not An Option: Elections Ontario’s Approach

Greg Essensa

Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario
Elections Ontario

Greg Essensa

Greg Essensa was appointed Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer with the unanimous consent of the Legislature in June 2008. He is the seventh person to hold the position.

Mr. Essensa has over 30 years of municipal, provincial and international election experience. He began his career as a student worker in the former City of Toronto’s election warehouse. Over the years, he took on positions of increasing scope and responsibility and prior to his appointment he served as the Director of Elections and Registry Services for the City of Toronto.

A dedicated election official, governments of all levels, associations and not-for-profit organizations have sought his election administration expertise. He has advised on municipal elections in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick and primary elections in Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

Born and raised in Toronto, Mr. Essensa studied economics at McGill University.

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