During our OLIP orientation, we met with Greg Essensa, the Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario and one of the six independent officers of the legislature. Mr Essensa’s office, Elections Ontario, is independent of the Ontario Legislative Assembly and manages the setup, running of and teardown of the province’s elections.
During our conversation, Mr. Essensa explained his responsibility to oversee the organization and administration of scheduled provincial elections as well unscheduled snap elections. Since his appointment, Mr. Essensa has worked to modernize Ontario’s elections in a way that makes them more accessible to all Ontarians through the implementation of electronic voting systems. As our meeting concluded, Mr. Essensa gave us a tour of the warehouse Elections Ontario used to store materials in preparation for election day. Compared to the many formal offices of the legislature we were used to seeing on our zoom calls, the warehouse was a real change of pace! Social distancing would be easy in a place that big.
We want to thank Mr. Essensa and his Executive Assistant Stephanie Lowe for taking the time to meet with us and explain the work that they do for the province of Ontario!