The municipal agency responsible for elections in Toronto is facing some criticism after asking two groups targeting mayoral candidates and their voting records to contact the city over Twitter this week.

The requests were made to two groups that specifically been addressing the campaigns of Ana Bailao and Brad Bradford over social media.

Toronto Elections says they have received complaints about the websites.

The websites in question offer residents the chance to “get to know” the candidates by platforming their past voting records.

Toronto Elections did not specify what the complaints were, but said the websites may be engaging in third-party advertising and, if so, could have to register as such.

If a person, corporation or union spends money on advertising that supports or opposes a candidate, they are considered to be third-party advertisers. It does not include advertising that is free of cost, including posts made on social media.

The agency took to Twitter to publicly ask both groups to contact the city clerk this week, but did not make mention of its reasoning.

“Toronto Elections would like you to contact communications regarding candidates,” the agency said in a Tweet posted on April 12. “Please email us.”

City Clerk office spokesperson Erin George said "the tweets were only intended to contact website owners who appear to be engaging in third party advertising as described in the Municipal Elections Act."

“Without any other contact information provided on the campaign websites, Toronto Elections used Twitter to reach the website owners to provide information about their responsibilities under provincial legislation.”

However, the tweets confused some residents and Twitter users, who felt the agency was trying to limit civic discussion.

“Why exactly is (City of Toronto) elections trying to contact regular citizens and not even enforcing its own election rules on the candidates running?” one person asked.

“From the outside, this looks like you're telling social media users that participating in civil discourse could be an election offence,” another pointed out.

“As another concerned Toronto citizen - this also looks like an attempt to suppress civil discourse. Care to explain?”

Toronto Elections told CTV News Toronto that it acknowledges their attempts to contact the site owners appeared as though they were commenting on individual social media posts.

“We did not intend to leave that impression since we are clear that social media posts supporting or opposing a candidate do not qualify as third-party advertising,” they said.