Elections

Technology to increase accessibility for voters

New technology will increase accessibility for Kelowna voters in the 2011 election.

A voter assist terminal will be offered at the City Hall voting location, open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 16 to 19.

“Accessibility is important so everyone can have an opportunity to exercise their right to vote,” said chief election officer Karen Needham.

“The voter assist terminal allows voters with disabilities and other special needs to mark their ballot privately and independently; and builds on our other efforts to make voting accessible, such as offering mail-in voting and special voting to those in the hospital and special care facilities.”

All voting locations are also accessible for persons with disabilities and with election officials offering assistance with voting, either within the voting location, or curbside if voters are physically unable to leave their vehicle.

The voter assist terminal does not count or store votes; rather, it is a ballot-marking system designed to provide privacy and accessibility to voters with vision loss, or who have a disability or condition that would make it difficult or impossible to mark a ballot.

Even a temporary condition, such as a broken arm, could make it difficult for a person to mark a ballot.

“An audio function allows the voter to listen through headphones and they can easily choose to repeat the choices, if necessary,” said Needham.

The audio is a synthesized voice that enables the voter to control the speed and volume at which the ballot is read.

The audio function also allows the voter to review a marked ballot after their choices are made by reading it back to them.

On the touch screen, a zoom feature enables the voter to increase the font size as well as adjust the contrast of the screen.

These features may be especially helpful for voters who are sighted but have limited vision or macular degeneration.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Construction begins on Okanagan Innovation Centre
 
ELECTION 2014: Columnist Jennifer Smith says a slick pitchman is needed for the board of education
 
Central Okanagan school trustees take office
Shipping company names new ship after the city
 
(VIDEO) Hundreds pay respects to former finance minister Jim Flaherty
 
Frozen beef burgers recalled for possible E. coli contamination
Feisty kitty a survivor
 
Penticton neighbourhood up in signs
 
Election 2014: Public meets trustee candidates

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.