Best! Inaccessible! Voting! Experience! Ever!

I want to take a second to thank the folks working the polls at the Activa Sportsplex in Kitchener last night for one of the better voting experiences I’ve ever had.

None of you were outwardly freaked out by the sight of unaccompanied blind people roaming loose in the wild.

None of you tried to pawn us off on somebody else who very clearly wanted even less to do with us than you did.

None of you tried to force us to sign our independent voting rights over to a random stranger.

None of you tried to aggressively explain to the man and woman who have been blind for nearly forty years each that this metal thing with a couple of numbers written on it is a Braille ballot so we’re good now.

No. all that every one of you did was help.

From the person who greeted us at the front of the line to the ladies who helped us make sure all of our choices were marked correctly to the nice woman at the tabulation station who made sure I knew my ballot went into the box and even went so far as to tell me which voter I was sequentially that day, you were all awesome.

Rarely have I had an easier, more pleasant or more efficient day at the polls, and that includes polls that had the accessible voting technology operating.

Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely, 100 percent believe that every polling station on every day of every election at every level of government should have this technology available regardless of logistics or cost because it’s the right thing to do, but fair is fair, and everyone we dealt with last night did a fantastic job and should be commended for that. It’s just too bad that you all are the exception and not the rule.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about the results of the election (partly because I just don’t and partly because we still don’t know who won everything), but good on the cities that voted to give ranked ballots a try. It’s going to be an interesting experiment. Maybe it won’t ultimately work out better than first-past-the-post, but it’s certainly worth a try. My only concern is that it’s going to put more demand on a public that already can’t be arsed to vote more than half the time to be even more informed and I fear that even more may not bother. I envision turnout initially going up some because of the novelty of a new system, but hopefully the end result isn’t people finding it too cumbersome.

Ranked ballots, by the way, are a very good argument for assistive voting machines assuming anyone still needs a good argument for those. Nobody should have to sit there with me while I mull over whether Frank is the second or third best choice for a job or whether I should say screw it and go with Bob in first when initially I was voting for Jane all the way and Bob wasn’t even making the cut. Part of the right to vote is the right to change one’s mind up until the last possible second, and that, just like the rest of the process, needs to be as simple as possible for everyone.

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