With the Ontario Provincial vote seven days away (June 12, 2014), CMHA Ontario would like to remind people that eligible community health organizations can help homeless voters cast a ballot. CMHA Ontario is working with Elections Ontario to improve the accessibility of voting for Ontarians with mental health disabilities. We learned that some voters with mental health disabilities face challenges in providing the proof of residence or identity needed to vote. As a result, we have worked with Elections Ontario to extend the Certificate of Identity and Residence program to community health organizations (previously it was largely offered to food banks and shelters).
Through this program, eligible organizations can register to provide clients who are homeless or marginally housed (e.g. staying at a shelter, with friends or family, couch surfing, etc.) with certificates of identity and residence. With the certificate, an individual can go directly to the advance or regular poll without additional documentation, and cast their ballot.
To be eligible under the Election Act, an organization must provide some kind of food (e.g. coffee, snacks, meal program, etc.) or shelter (e.g. emergency shelter, safe beds, supportive housing, etc.).
If your organization is eligible to participate, please review and complete the Homeless Elector Process 2014 forms. Any of your organization’s front-line staff and administrators can sign the Authorization form to become the authorizers of the temporary IDs. That form can be sent via mail or scanned and sent via email to Elections Ontario with a return address. Elections Ontario will then send out the Certificate of Identity and Residence (EO824) forms.
For more information about eligibility and the program, please contact the Elections Ontario Outreach Team at 1-888-246-3335.