OHRC writes Elections Ontario on accessibility and alternative voting technologies
Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, has provided Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, Greg Essensa with feedback on Elections Ontario’s work on alternative voting technologies (internet and phone voting) and accessibility for voters with disabilities. OHRC supports Elections Ontario’s review and consultation on alternative voting technologies, as well as Elections Ontario’s eight accessibility principles: accessibility, one vote per voter, vote authentication and authorization, only count votes from valid voters, individual verifiability, voter privacy, results validation and service availability.
Concerns expressed include legislative limits that enable use of accessibility voting equipment during the advance poll period only, and not polling day itself, and paper-based authentication and authorization procedures that may cause barriers for individuals with vision loss, learning and other types of disabilities.
The OHRC also encourages Elections Ontario to consider whether internet voting interfaces must be designed to meet obligations under theAccessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and to reconstitute its Accessibility Advisory Committee.