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Writs signed for June 12 Ontario election

Writs signed for June 12 Ontario electionLieutenant Governor David Onley is pictured in Toronto on February 19, 2013, THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO - Ontario's political leaders began campaigning last Friday after Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Lt. Gov. David Onley to ask him to dissolve the legislature, but the official campaign period for the June 12 election doesn't begin until today.

Onley took to Twitter on Tuesday to explain the actual process under the province's Elections Act for starting the campaign.

The Lieutenant Governor is required to sign two "writs of election" for each of Ontario's 107 electoral districts, or ridings, 214 in all.

Onley will meet Wednesday with Ontario's chief electoral officer, Greg Essena, to formally sign the writs, one copy of which goes to the returning officer and the second is retained for records. Both copies are archived after the election.

Onley has been known to politely remind journalists that elections writs are not "dropped" but are drawn up.

Elections in Ontario begin on a Wednesday and are held on a Thursday, after a minimum of 29 days, but June 5 is a traditional Jewish holiday so an extra week was added to this campaign, making it five weeks until June 12.

But it's actually 41 days if you count from last Friday, when the New Democrats announced they'd lost confidence in the Liberals and Wynne pulled the plug on her own government.

The chief electoral officer scheduled a media briefing for Wednesday afternoon at the legislature to provide "information unique to the June 2014 provincial general election."

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