No Barriers for Voters during the 2014 Markham Election
Convenience and accessibility a top priority
MARKHAM, ON – October 10, 2014: Inclusive, barrier free and fair elections are the priority for Markham. With less than three weeks before the 2014 Municipal Election, the City is very busy taking steps to ensure and improve convenience and accessibility for all eligible voters.
From the comfort and privacy of their own home, office or anywhere with a computer/mobile device and an Internet connection, all eligible voters can vote early online. To vote online, eligible voters must be on the Voters’ List and registered for Internet Voting by October 16, 2014.
“We really would like to see our online voter turnout increase this time,” says Markham City Clerk and Chief Returning Office, Kimberley Kitteringham. “There’s really no excuse not to vote since the online option is convenient, avoids the Election Day rush and is good for the environment.”
Eligible voters who have not yet received the Voter Information Package (VIP) letter by mail should contact the Markham Elections Office immediately. The VIP letter includes key dates, voting locations, instructions to register for online voting and a Registration PIN for online voting.
In the 2014 City of Markham Election, the following provisions will be available during the Early Voting Period (October 17-23), to assist persons with disabilities:
Accessible Voting Locations and Service Animals
All Designated Voting Locations have been inspected and are physically accessible. Election officials have been trained to assist voters and a relative or friend of an eligible voter may also assist, in marking a ballot. The appropriate oath will be administered by the Election Official to the relative or friend. Service animals are also welcome at all Designated Voting Locations.
Using their own assistive devices to read and mark an online ballot, together with a computer or mobile device and an Internet connection, voters can cast a ballot from anywhere. Internet Voting will be available from October 17 at 9 a.m. EST until October 23 at 12 midnight EST. To vote online, electors must be on the Voters’ List and registered for Internet Voting by October 16.
Voting equipment with audio ballot
Visually impaired voters can vote in total privacy, using in-person voting equipment with an audio ballot. The voter will listen to a voice explanation of the voting process and the list of candidates, and then receive instructions on how to mark a ballot.
Sip and puff and paddles
In-person voting equipment will be outfitted with assistive tools like sip and puff and paddles to enable eligible voters with disabilities to mark the ballot without assistance.
Magnifying sheets are available at all Designated Voting Locations (upon request), to assist eligible voters with low vision, to read and mark a ballot.
Pen grips of various sizes will be available at all Designated Voting Locations, to assist voters with marking a ballot with marking pens.
All electors should take advantage of Internet Voting as well as other convenient and accessible Early Voting opportunities so they can voice their choice by voting online or in line.