I Am Voting

PK

The federal election is scheduled for October 21, 2019 and with that election comes some important changes to make voting in Canada more accessible.

Paul Kerr is very familiar with voting, as well as the work that goes into making an informed decision. His support staff will provide Paul the information needed to make the right choice for him at the ballot box.

Pamela Lawes, who supported Paul in voting in the last municipal election, explained what that looks like. “He will watch televised debates. He’s gone to the Cultural Centre to see debates as well. Beforehand, we’ll go over the candidates with him to give him background information.”

“A separate support worker will take him in for voting and see who he wants to vote for.” Lawes explained that it’s good to have several people involved in the process to keep it as balanced as possible.

In addition to exercising his right to vote in municipal and provincial ballots, the upcoming election will mark Paul’s second time voting on the federal level.

Lawes stated that her and others supporting Paul have been very pleased with the voting process itself. “They’ve been really great at the polling stations. We’ve never been questioned on his right to vote.”

One of the changes recommended by an advisory group for disability issues working with Elections Canada is to guarantee voters the right to have someone come in with them to support them in marking their ballot.

There are other new tools and measures in place this year, following recommendations by the advisory group. These measures are designed to make voting and the election process more accessible to all Canadians. They include tools to make the ballots easier to see, access to translators in American Sign Language, and polling stations that are accessible.

For people who are unable to make it to the polling station, there is an option to vote by mail, as well as a mobile voting station that can come to the individual’s home. These options need to be set up ahead of time.

When asked how Paul feels about taking part in the voting process, Lawes stated that it gives him a lot of pride.  She stressed the importance of public forums. “He feels like a part of the community. Getting involved and being able to make a choice on who he wants to represent him.”

CSCL is a member of Inclusion BC that has put together a website to help people understand what voting is about and why it is important.

Check it out at: https://inclusionbc.org/i-am-voting/

 

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