Rules for Media
Members of the media must follow certain rules while reporting on provincial elections in Ontario and when distributing political advertising.
Please contact the media relations team for questions about reporting on elections and all other media inquiries.
For information about distributing political advertising, please contact the compliance team.
You may not publish, broadcast or transmit election survey results on election day if those results have not previously been made available to the public. This rule also applies to websites, email and social media.
Cameras are not allowed in voting locations to ensure the secrecy of the vote.
Electronic communications devices, including cell phones, are not allowed inside voting locations without prior permission from the returning officer, or unless being used to show proof of identification or as an accessibility device.
Members of the media can film inside a voting location while a candidate is voting. Candidates must make arrangements for the media event in advance, with the returning officer. Please note, no one else may vote while members of the media are present.
Members of the media are also allowed at returning offices and satellite offices after polls close on election day. Please contact the returning officer to make arrangements.
Members of the media can request the following information from returning officers after the close of polls:
- Numbers of polling locations reporting;
- Number of votes cast for each candidate; and
- Cumulative totals.
Members of the media may not post information to social media while in the voting location.
Please remember that results reported on election night are unofficial. Find more information about election results.
Broadcasters and publishers, along with the entities running the advertising must ensure that all political advertising has proper authorization indicating who sponsored or paid for the advertising. Broadcasters and publishers are also responsible for ensuring that political advertising does not violate the blackout period. Advertising records must be kept for a period of two years after the date the political advertisement appeared and must be available to the public for inspection during normal office hours.
Find more information about political advertising.
No broadcaster or publisher may charge more for political advertising at election time than it would normally charge anyone else for an equivalent amount of space or time during the same period.
A broadcaster may provide time without charge to registered political parties and candidates in accordance with the policies of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the provisions of the Broadcasting Act (Canada). The provision of such free time to political parties or candidates is not considered a contribution or an election expense for the purposes of the Election Finances Act.
News media, publishers and broadcasters must not publish, broadcast or transmit political advertising during the blackout period. The blackout period is the day before election day and election day.
The blackout period does not apply to genuine news reporting. There are other exceptions to the blackout period. Please click on the link above for more information.