Making voting accessible for everyone

Accessible Voting
The City of Vaughan is committed to being a community where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can thrive. This includes ensuring that elections are accessible to everyone.

As part of the 2014 Municipal Elections Accessibility Plan, the City Clerk’s Office is ensuring that all voting locations are physically accessible to all voters. Accessible entrances will be well marked with the universal symbol of accessibility and will be within close proximity of accessible parking spaces.

Voters who cannot mark a paper ballot can still vote independently by attending an advance voting location equipped with an accessible voting device called an audio-tactile interface (ATI). See the audio tactile interface device here

Voters with Special Needs
Four of our eight advance voting locations will be equipped with ATIs. Father Ermanno Bulfon Community Centre (gymnasium) and the Dufferin Clark Community Centre (activity rooms 1 and 2) will be hosting advance voting on Oct. 11 and 12, and from Oct. 18 to 21, with hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. York University (Bear Pit) will have advance voting on Oct. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Vaughan City Hall (Garden Room) advance voting location will be open a full ten days from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Oct. 11 through Oct. 21, with the exception of Thanksgiving Monday.

Each of these advance voting sites will have ATIs permitting voters who cannot mark a paper ballot (for example, voters who do not have the use of their hands, or are blind).  By triggering commands through a keypad, paddles or sip and puff device in response to audio cues, voters will be able to produce a ballot that is practically indistinguishable from the other ballots in the ballot box, preserving the secrecy of their vote.

Voters with accessibility needs can choose other methods of assistance.  At any election location, including on Voting Day, voters may ask any of the election officials for assistance or they may bring a friend to assist them. The friend must swear an oath/take a declaration that they will vote as instructed.

Interpreters
Voters may bring language interpreters to assist them, though the interpreter may not go behind the voting screen with the voter or assist in voting. Voters may ask anyone except a candidate or a scrutineer to act as an interpreter. The interpreter must swear an oath that they will faithfully translate any communication between the voter and election officials.

I encourage all voters, especially those with special needs, to take advantage of the City’s advance voting times and locations.

For more information about the municipal elections, visit vaughan.ca/elections.

Jeffrey A. Abrams
City Clerk and Returning Officer for the City of Vaughan  

 

 

Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at www.vaughan.ca.

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