Accessibility

The Municipality of Clarington is committed to ensuring that all qualified electors have an opportunity to vote and participate in Municipal Elections. We strive to provide barrier-free and accessible elections for all residents and are committed to ensuring that all legislative requirements as set out in the Municipal Elections Act and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act are met or exceeded.

The Municipality has taken steps to ensure the 2018 Elections maintain the principles of the Municipal Elections Act and provide our residents with a variety of tools to meet their needs.

Election principles

The following seven principles guide the 2018 Municipal Elections:

  1. The secrecy and confidentiality of individual votes is paramount;
  2. The election should be fair and non-biased;
  3. The election should be accessible to voters;
  4. The integrity of the process should be maintained throughout the election;
  5. Results of the election reflect the votes cast; and
  6. Voters and candidates should be treated fairly and consistently within a municipality.
  7. A majority vote decides the election by ensuring, that valid votes are counted and invalid votes are rejected.
Accessible customer service

All staff carrying out election duties will be trained to recognize and ensure that persons with disabilities are served in a way that accommodates their needs. 

Voting process

On Voting Day, Monday, October 22, 2018, Clarington electors will cast their traditional paper ballots at 33 voting locations throughout Clarington.

Advance voting is scheduled from October 13 to October 17. The advance voting places are available in all four wards. Electors casting their ballot during the advance voting period may go to any of the locations listed. 

If you require audio/tactile technology to vote, devices will be available at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex during the advance voting period.

Voting places

Clarington has 33 voting locations that will be used on Voting Day.

Each location has been inspected for accessibility and an Accessibility Report Card has been completed.

Transit to voting places

Where possible, voting places have been selected so they are accessible by public transit. However, the location may not necessarily be located on the same street as the transit stop. Voting places will be clearly marked.

Accessible parking

International Symbol of Accessibility

You will find designated or reserved parking as close to the entrance of the voting place as possible. Accessible parking spaces will be clearly visible and marked. Additional accessible parking spaces will be provided if possible.

Entrances to voting places

Where the voting place has steps to the entrance, ramps will be provided to assist you.

In locations where the entrance doors do not have auto-openers, the doors will be propped open in a safe manner or an Election Official will be assigned to operate the door for all electors entering and exiting the voting place who may need assistance.

Interior voting areas

Access to the interior voting area and voting booth will be level and easy to navigate. All voting areas will be well lit and seating will be made available, including additional seating for waiting.

Accessible voting booths will be available at each voting place. 

Special voting locations (Nursing homes / Long-term care facilities)

The following seven special voting locations have reduced hours for voting and are designated only for the use of eligible electors who reside at these institutions:

  • White Cliffe Terrace Retirement Residence
  • Glen Hill Marnwood Lifecare Centre
  • Fosterbrooke Long-Term Care Facility
  • Glen Hill Strathhaven Lifecare Centre
  • Seasons Clarington Retirement Community and DSCC217
  • Lakeridge Health Bowmanville (Long-term Care only)
  • Bowmanville Creek Retirement Community
Voting tools

The following three voting tools will be available at all voting places:

  • A ballot with large print will be displayed for reference next to the voting booth.
  • Magnifying sheets.
  • A variety of marking tools (i.e. pens, pencils, markers) will be available for electors to easily mark their ballots.

All Election Officials will be trained on assistive voting tools available at the location and will be available to assist where necessary. All Election Officials have taken an Oath of Secrecy.

Audio/tactile assistive equipment will only be available at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex on each of the advance voting days. The voter uses headphones to hear the ballot presentation and a handheld controller device to control the voting session and select votes. Others who cannot use their hands to press the selection, can operate the controller using assistive devices such as sip and puff and paddles.

A man listens to an audio device Tactile voting device

If you choose to use the audio/tactile assistive tool, the Election Official will provide you with a brief explanation of the process.

You will then listen to the audio ballot and use the controller to adjust volume and speed of the audio presentation, move between contests, and select votes. The audio presentation will confirm votes selected for you to verify. When you have made and confirmed all of your vote selections, you use the handheld controller to print your actual paper ballot. The printer device will automatically process the blank sheet of paper, printing the full ballot on the sheet complete with the vote markings you selected.

The printed ballot looks the same as a ballot marked by hand. This feature ensures that when the paper ballots are later reviewed by Election Officials (i.e. during a recount), they will not be able to determine which ballots were made through the assistance of the interface tools.

The paper ballot printed by the audio/tactile assistive tool will emerge from the printer hidden under a covering. An Election Official will insert the secrecy folder into the feed area of the vote tabulator until the vote tabulator draws the ballot from the secrecy folder through to the ballot box.

Support persons and service animals

Voters can be accompanied by a support person or a service animal, such as a guide dog, to all voting places, including voting compartment areas.

Personal assistance

The Deputy Returning Officer at each voting place may assist you in casting your vote. Before entering the voting booth, you can advise the Deputy Returning Officer of your needs and the best way he/she can assist you. This may include asking the Deputy Returning Officer to actually mark the ballot as you select your candidate. All Deputy Returning Officers are sworn to an Oath of Secrecy.

Proxy voting

If you are unable to attend a voting place to cast your ballot, you may appoint another person to vote on your behalf as a voting proxy. The appointment must be made on the Proxy Voting Form available at the Municipal Clerk’s Department. The person being appointed as a proxy is required to make a statutory declaration before a Commissioner of Oaths. Municipal Clerk’s Department staff can administer this oath at the Municipal Clerk’s Department located on the 2nd Floor of the Municipal Administrative Centre, 40 Temperance Street, Bowmanville. The form is then certified by the Municipal Clerk. Learn more about proxy rules and access the proxy form to assign a person to cast your votes.

Special mail-in ballots

Special mail-in ballots are available to electors who are unable to vote at an advance voting location or at a voting station on Voting Day. If you are physically unable to vote, are away from the Municipality of Clarington, or have been appointed as an Election Official, you may request a special mail-in ballot as an alternative to appointing a voting proxy.

An elector who wishes to use a special mail-in ballot must make their request to the Municipal Clerk, in writing, on the Request for Mail-in Ballot form between July 1, 2018 and October 5, 2018.

The Municipal Clerk’s Department will forward a special mail-in ballot kit to the elector. It must be returned to the Municipal Clerk’s Department before 8 p.m. on Voting Day, October 22. If mailed, it must be postmarked no later than noon two Fridays prior to the election to ensure delivery by Voting Day.

Distribution of election information

Residents who require information and copies of election documents in an alternate accessible format may contact the Municipal Clerk’s Office.

Disruption of services

If there is a temporary disruption in the delivery of election information or services, a notice will be posted on the main page of this Election Website, and, if possible, in the local media. The notice will include the reason for the disruption, anticipated duration, and a description of alternative methods of delivering the information or service. We will make every effort to provide alternative methods of providing the information or service to persons with disabilities. Updates will be made regularly throughout the service interruption.

Feedback

Voters are encouraged to provide the Municipality of Clarington with feedback about elections services, accessibility measures and interaction with elections officials. This feedback may be submitted to the Municipal Clerk through a variety of methods including:

Phone
905-623-3379 ext. 8683 (VOTE)

In person
Municipality of Clarington
Municipal Clerk's Department
40 Temperance Street, 2nd Floor
Bowmanville

Fax
905-623-6506

Email
Election2018@clarington.net

Mail
Municipal Clerk's Department
Municipality of Clarington
40 Temperance Street
Bowmanville, ON L1C 3A6

The feedback form is available at all voting opportunities. All feedback will be forwarded to the Municipal Clerk's Department for review and follow-up. In addition, staff working in municipal facilities can complete the feedback form and submit it on behalf of an individual if required. 

Alternatively, the form may be printed and provided to the person for manual completion. Each completed form is reviewed by Municipal staff who will respond to the candidate or elector directly within three business days providing a response and corrective measures where possible.

The feedback process provides election staff with an opportunity to take corrective measures to prevent similar recurrences, address training needs, enhance service delivery and provide alternative methods of providing election services.

Other resources