A Response From Elections Ontario On The Issue Of Accessible Voting

Last Updated on: 24th November 2013, 03:55 pm

The other day Carinposted about Elections Ontario’s draft access standards for polling stations.The 2 of us both submitted our feedback and we hope that you did too. My original comments to them as well as the form response we both got back are also in the thread under Carin’s post.

Today I finally got my promised response, and if what they’re saying is true, then mition accomplished, blind people! Hopefully this “accessible voting technology” will also work for everybody else eventually if it doesn’t already, but it has to start somewhere.

Here’s the note I just received.

Thank you for taking the time to review Elections Ontario’s draft Site Accessibility Standard.

The Standard was designed to provide Returning Officers with guidelines for selecting and securing voting locations. As such, the proposed Standard outlines only physical and customer service related requirements to determine the accessibility of a potential voting location.

The development of a Site Accessibility Standard is just one step in Elections Ontario’s plan to enhance the accessibility of the electoral process and to ensure a positive, accessible and convenient voting experience for all electors.  We will be providing a variety of new services for electors with disabilities in the October 2011 General Election, including accessible voting technology.  Electors will be able to use tabulator technology to independently mark and verify their ballots. The tabulators will be available for the first time in a General Election at Advance Polls located in Returning Offices across the province.

The full listing of accessibility services to be provided in 2011 will be published in Elections Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan which will be made public this fall. 

Again, thank you for your feedback.

The only thing that could make this better would be making it available on election day proper and not just at the Advance Polls, but again, it has to start somewhere.

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