The City of Cambridge has declared an emergency under the Municipal Election Act after two of six candidates for Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) trustee were left off the ballot.

The decision voids any ballots cast for Catholic trustees in Cambridge as of Monday Oct. 24 and allows the clerk to suspend the election until arrangements can be made for a new vote at a later date.

“I needed to make a decision to ensure that the two candidates who were left off the Cambridge ballot for that race had fair representation in the ballot itself,” Cambridge clerk Danielle Manton said. “So the decision to declare an emergency was the only decision I felt like I could make to remedy the situation and ensure that those candidates were captured on the ballot.”

All other municipal races in Cambridge, including the election of the Waterloo Region District School Board trustees, will proceed as planned on Monday.

The election of Catholic school board trustees from Kitchener/Wilmot and Waterloo/Wellesley/Woolwich is also not affected.


Manton said the error was discovered late Friday. Around 1,700 votes for Cambridge Catholic school board trustees had already been cast.

She said she couldn’t speak specifically to how the mistake happened, but it occurred during the proofing process between the vendor and the City of Cambridge.

“We will be looking at our process and reviewing all procedures in the coming weeks so that this doesn’t happen again,” Manton said.


Cambridge and North Dumfries are grouped together in one electoral district for WCDSB and collectively elect three trustees. Manton said ballots in North Dumfries included all six candidates and are therefore valid. Results from that township will be sealed and not counted until a new vote for the City of Cambridge is complete.

Because crossing out a section of the ballot would interfere with automatic vote tabulators, Catholic school board trustee candidates will still appear on the ballot in Cambridge on Monday. Manton said signage will be put up in polling locations informing voters they will be contacted with a new ballot for Catholic school board trustees in the coming weeks.

Plans to resume the Catholic trustee election will be announced after the municipal election on Monday. Manton said she wants to do it as soon as possible.

“I recognize the hard work that each of the candidates for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board have put in, I want them to build off that momentum, I want to ensure voters are still engaged,” she said.