ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
VOTERS' GUIDE for People with Disabilities
May 9, 1999
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
This is an important election for people with disabilities, your families and friends. MAKE SURE YOU GET OUT TO VOTE DURING THIS ELECTION CAMPAIGN. Now that the election has been called we have prepared this short guide with information on how you can participate as a voter in this election. For additional information contact information for the Chief Elections Officer is at the end of this guide.
Ontario is using a permanent voters list for the first time. You should receive a notice of registration card that lets you know you are on the voters list. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THIS CARD BY MAY 25, 1999, YOU MAY NOT BE ON THE VOTERS LIST.
HOW TO GET ON THE VOTERS LIST
You can be added at any time up to and including election day on June 3, 1999.
WHERE DO I GO?
- Before Election Day: Go to the local Retuning Office in your riding any time between 10:00 am and 8:00pm up until and including June 2, 1999.
- On Election Day, June 3: Ask to be added to the Voters list when you go to vote on election day or at the Returning Office in your riding if you go there to vote in an advance poll. Make sure you bring the documents listed below.
- If you can't go yourself: Ask someone to go to the local Returning Office in your riding for a Certificate to Vote on your behalf. This person is allowed to do this for family members and one person who is unrelated. For more information, check with your local Returnning Office.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL YOU NEED?
Before Election Day, June 3: You will need to show the following documents:
- One document that has your name, address and signature OR
- Two documents one of which has your name and signature (for example, your OHIP card), the other with your name and address (for example, a bill)
On Election Day, June 3:
- The same documents you would need before election day AND
- You will have to make a statutory declaration that says that you are qualified to vote, verifies your name, and says that you have not already voted in this election.
WHEN CAN I VOTE?
There are three different ways you can vote in a provincial election:
- At your local polling station (if it is not accessible, you can ask to be transferred to one that is) Advance poll. The Advance polls for this election will be held on the following days. In all cases the times for voting are between 10:00am and 8:00pm.
- At the Returning Office in Your Riding: May 22nd, May 24th, May 25th, May 26th, May 27th and May 28th
- Area advance polls: May 26th, May 27th, May 28th The elections Ontario web site has a list of advance polling locations. There will also be newspaper ads with this information.
If you do not think you will be able to vote in person at either an Advance Poll or on Election Day you may apply to have someone else vote for you. To do this you must complete an application form. It is available on the Elections Ontario Web site but only in Adobe format. You can also get the form from the local Returning Office. The form is given (in person or by mail) to the person who will be voting on your behalf. The original signed document must be taken by the person who will be the proxy to the Returning Office any time up until 8:00pm on June 2, 1999. Once it is approved the Returning Officer will give the proxy a Certificate to Vote. This must be taken to the polling station on election day.
VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The polling place is supposed to be chosen for ease of access. The Elections Ontario Web site says that inside the polling place screens around the voting booth will be placed in a way to accommodate voters with disabilities and seniors. If you find that the polling station that you are supposed to vote in is not accessible to you, you may apply to transfer to vote in another polling station that is more accessible. This can be done anytime up to and including Election Day. You can have someone else do this on your behalf. Call the returning officer in your riding for details.
You may also want to call the Returning Officer and ask that the location of the polling station be changed to an accessible site. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or who do not speak the language: Elections Ontario says that you may bring an interpreter with you. Both the voter and interpreter must take the oath.
People with Vision impairments or who cannot read: You can vote using a notched ballot. The poll official reads the list of candidates and their party. The voter than finds the appropriate notch and marks the circle to the left. There is also a template available. We have no details on this template. You can have a friend mark the ballot for you providing you both take an oath. Physically challenged voters: If you cannot enter the polling place because of your disability, the polling officials can bring the ballot box to a curb or parking area so that you can vote from your car or vehicle.
In an institution the ballot box may be taken from bed to bed.
If you have questions about where to vote, you should phone the Chief Elections Officer at:
51 Rolark Drive
Telephone number: (416) 326-6300
Toll Free: 1-800-677-8683
Fax number: (416) 326-6200
follow this LINK to read the previous Voter's Guide.
For further information about the efforts of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee to achieve a barrier-free Ontario for all people with disabilities, visit our web site at www.odacommittee.net or contact us at:
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee
Tel: (ODA Committee Voice Mail) (416) 480-7012
Fax: (416) 480-7014
TTY: Care of Susan Main (416) 964-0023 ext. 343
For more specific information about voting in the greater Toronto area, please contact Michelle Hurtubise or Marilyn Walsh at (Voice) (416) 486-8666 (Fax) (416) 486-8660.
ASK US IF YOU NEED THIS MATERIAL IN AN ALTERNATIVE FORMAT.
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