As the candidates debate and stump around the city, Toronto's election officials say they are getting reading for the massive job of holding the vote on Oct. 25.

"There is a tremendous amount of planning that goes into an election of this size," said Bonita Pietrangelo, Director of Elections and Registry Services, said Thursday in a news release.

"From the hiring of over 10,000 people to work on Election Day, to the assembly and delivery of supply bags for over 1,600 voting places, to the numerous communication materials created - many hours of work are going into the preparation of Toronto's 2010 municipal election."

One innovation for this municipal vote will be accessible voting equipment.

Weekday advance voting begins next Tuesday, Oct. 5 -- one day after candidates' lawn signs will start appearing. It runs to Friday, Oct. 8, then again on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13. Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Touch-screen terminals will be available at the weekday advance polls, the city said.

"This technology enables partially sighted or blind individuals to vote independently and in privacy," it said.

On Oct. 16 and 17, the advance voting weekend polling days (polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), there will be a voter assist terminal in each of the city's 44 wards. One such terminal per ward will also be available on Election Day.

"The voter assist terminal allows voters with various special needs to mark their ballot privately and independently," the city said.

Those who could benefit from such a terminal should call the city at 416-338-1111 before Oct. 18. They will be given a transfer certificate to be able to vote at the poll where the terminal is located.

On Oct. 25, polls will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The city is currently distributing a "where to vote" newsletter to its residents. They also encourage people to visit

To vote, you must be:

  • a Canadian citizen
  • 18 years old or older
  • a resident of Toronto or a non-resident owner or tenant of land in the city, or the spouse of someone who does own land here

When people get a ballot, they will get three categories of candidates: mayor, councillor and school trustee. The ballots will be fed into machines for tabulation.

If they leave a category blank, the machine will give them the option of selecting a candidate. If they vote for more than one candidate, the machine will give them the option to remove a name. If they do not, it will spoil their ballot.

People will need at least one piece of ID with your name, address and signature. Alternatively, they will need two pieces of ID, one with name and signature, the other showing your name and address.

To ease your trip to the polls, make sure you're on the voter's list. Call 311 to confirm.

Sarah Thomson withdrew as a candidate on Tuesday and asked her supporters to vote for former deputy premier George Smitherman, who is considered to be running second to Coun. Rob Ford.

However, because she withdrew after Sept. 10, her name will be on the ballot. City officials caution that a vote for Thomson will not count as a vote for Smitherman.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson