Election Information

Voter Accessibility and Accommodations

Elections Accessibility Barrier Plan

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (MEA) requires a clerk who is responsible for conducting an election shall have regard to the needs of electors and candidates with disabilities. 

The MEA also requires that in establishing the locations of voting places, the clerk shall ensure that each voting place is accessible to electors with disabilities. As per Section 12.1, the clerk shall prepare a plan regarding the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that affect electors and candidates with disabilities and shall make the plan available to the public before voting day in a regular election.

Download the Accessibility Barrier Plan (PDF, 52 kb)

Prior to Election Day

  • By using a Polling Location Report, the preparation of which was assisted by the Access and Equity Coordinator, a review of polling locations was undertaken and from this review the polling sites were established.
  • Met with, and presented an accessibility plan for the 2018 Municipal Election to the Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, receiving their endorsement.
  • A portal for candidates was created to provide information which would include the Voters’ List, maps, and any other relevant forms or documents.
  • The Election website includes candidate and voter information.  Electors can find where they vote, who they can vote for, the hours of voting and other pertinent election information.
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs presentations were made available in larger fonts for candidates and the public.
  • All Advance Poll locations were equipped with an accessibility tabulator allowing electors with sight, hearing and mobility impairments to vote.
  • All Advance Poll and Election Day staff were trained using the Customer Service Standard for the City of Hamilton.
  • Special Advance Polls were used again for those dwellings that have senior residents.
  • Qualifying Institutional Polls and Retirement Homes will have polls for their residents.
  • Greeters have also been hired to ensure that entrances and any other barriers are addressed to ensure access to the poll.

Election Day

  • Each polling location will have the accessible entrance clearly marked with a series of signs and arrows in strategic locations.
  • An accessibility tabulator will be located in each of the 15 wards.
  • The locations of these accessibility tabulators is listed at the bottom of this document.
  • Identification and how to mark your ballot posters will be clearly visible in a large font, and magnifying sheets are available for those electors that would prefer to use it as opposed to the accessibility tabulator.
  • Curbside voting will be available for those electors unable to leave their vehicles.
  • A Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) will come to your vehicle ensuring the privacy and security of the elector.
  • For electors that use D.A.R.T.S. transportation you will be able to arrange a pick up time and be transported to your poll.
  • At the poll you will get “Front of the Line Service” and your D.A.R.T.S. driver will remain at the poll until you have voted.
  • Electors may also bring a friend or a family member to assist them while voting at a poll.

Accessibility Tabulators will be available at each advance poll. On election day, each ward will have a poll location with accessibility equipment will be available. List coming soon.

2018 Post Election Accessibility Report

12 (3) Within 90 days after voting day in a regular election, the clerk shall prepare a report about the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that affect electors and candidates with disabilities and shall make the report available to the public. 2016, c. 15, s. 11.

Read the 2018 Post-Election Accessibility Report (PDF, 47 KB)

Accommodations for voting

If you are unable to vote for any reason, on any of the available voting days, you may appoint another eligible elector to vote on your behalf.

If you require assistance at the voting place you may bring a friend along to help or you may ask an election official for assistance.

Your assistant may go behind the voting screen with you however they must make an oral declaration first.

You are entitled to three hours in which to vote on voting day. This does not mean you can take three hours off work to vote. It means you’re allowed to be absent to give yourself three hours of voting time.

  • Typically, this is at the start or end of your working hours i.e. if your working hours are from 10 am to 6 pm, you are entitled to leave one hour early so that you would have from 5 pm to 8 pm to vote.
  • Your employer may decide when it would be most convenient for you to be absent in order to vote i.e. if you work from noon to 6 pm your employer may decide that you should come in at 1 pm, rather than leave work at 5 pm.