-3.5 C
Elmira
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Specialized equipment makes voting more accessible in Woolwich

TRENDING

News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...

EDSS student wins $5,000 scholarship to pursue his university education

Max Campbell’s dreams of perhaps one day making it to space got a down-to-Earth boost last week in the...

THIS WEEK

Elmira
clear sky
-3.5 ° C
-1.7 °
-5.6 °
45 %
2.6kmh
1 %
Sat
4 °
Sun
5 °
Mon
5 °
Tue
3 °
Wed
7 °

Voters heading to the polls for municipal elections this month in Woolwich Township will have a new way to vote.

Responding to accessibility amendments to the municipal elections act, Woolwich leased two AutoMARK voting machines, which allow for a variety of voting methods.

“It has the ability to allow electors to use four different ways to mark the ballot,” said Amanda Fusco, executive assistant to the chief administrative officer and clerk. “The first one is using the touch screen, so any electors with visual difficulties can magnify the ballot using the zoom in and zoom out function. It also allows electors to listen to the ballot using the headphones provided. So it will actually read the ballot, including all of the candidate’s names and the elector could use the buttons on the machine to vote for the candidates. It also comes with a foot pedal and a hand pedal similar to the headphones, the elector uses the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ buttons to scroll through the ballot and select their vote. And the final way, is that it does come with a sip and puff model which allows electors that are in a wheelchair, if they are quadriplegic or paraplegic, they can actually use this device to mark the ballot as well. So they would sit and inhale and exhale to move across the ballot.”

She continued, “The township leased these machines to ensure that those who are unable to mark the ballot manually are able to vote.”

In past elections, electors who were incapable of using a pen to mark their ballot would have someone do it for them.

“In terms of integrity and ensuring that (every elector) has the ability to vote, this machine will facilitate that.”

The township leased two machines at a cost of $290 each, plus $120 each for tables. They will be available at each advanced polling location, and on election day, October 27, one will be located at the township office voting station and another at the Breslau Community Centre.

Advanced polling begins October 7 at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, where the AutoMARK will be in use from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. It continues October 9 at the Breslau Community Centre, with the machine in use from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. And advanced polling concludes October 18 at the Township administrative office, with AutoMARK use from 1:30 p.m. through 4:30 p.m.

In 2010, nearly 10 per cent of Woolwich voters cast their ballots during advanced polling.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

LIVING HERE

Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...

Jacks take 3-2 series lead into deciding weekend vs. New Hamburg

The Wellesley Applejacks are up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the New Hamburg Firebirds, having claimed two of this week’s three games in...
- Advertisement -