|Photo Description: The yellow Election's Canada sign pointing to a polling station. The disability access symbol is on the sign, which is pointing downwards.|
We were informed about the 'special ballot' voting in a mailing that we received from Elections Canada. What was cool about that mailing was that it had a list of the accessibility features of both the advance poll and the voting day polling stations. I popped over to the accessibility page on the Elections Canada website and was pretty impressed. I really liked being able to type in my postal code and find out everything I needed to know about polling stations. I found the list of mandatory (and preferred) features used in selection polling stations interesting. I liked the fact that accessibility was more than just getting in, there was information on assistance with marking a ballot and for sign language, amongst other languages, and that they could take requests in 110 languages.
We arrived just a little after one and went through the voting process, which is different, but not difficult, we discovered for 'special ballots' and then slammed our vote into the voting box. The whole thing was easy because access was simply an 'of course' and there was nothing to worry about. I will admit, though, when it came our turn, I asked Joe to go first just to check out the area for accessibility, I have a large chair after all. In the end Joe was still in, finishing up voting, when it came to be my turn. It was the same woman who had come to get Joe and when I was in her office having my ID checked, I relaxed.
It was an "of course."
I voted, freely - which means something a little different for a disabled voter.