Kitchener man concerned city didn’t fully consider voters with disabilities in municipal election

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Roch Longueépée says with quite a few well being points and being disabled, it is too tough for him to vote in individual in Kitchener, Ont., in the upcoming municipal election.

Longueépée has a traumatic mind harm and post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD). He mentioned he is scheduled to bear surgical procedure on Monday, voting day. Kitchener presents in-person or proxy voting choices, however Longueépée mentioned when he went to make preparations for somebody to vote by proxy for him, he was required to make an appointment at city corridor to finish the paperwork.

“For me, I’m principally housebound till my docs have sorted via what must be finished in phrases of my care,” he mentioned.

He mentioned he would have preferred for the city to supply phone or on-line voting like different municipalities, together with the City of Cambridge and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, Woolwich. He mentioned he was not provided a house go to to vote, which has been provided in earlier provincial or federal elections.

“This is my city, it is my house, so I anticipated higher,” he mentioned in an interview with CBC News. 

“I’m very heartbroken about what sort of message it sends to folks with disabilities that their voices aren’t being heard, that they are not being given the fitting to vote,” Longueépée mentioned. 

Longueépée reached out to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo on Monday morning with his issues. By the afternoon, he mentioned the city had agreed to go to his house for the proxy appointment. 

The city says it has provided proxy appointments on the properties of different residents who’re homebound for this election.

City says it presents voting choices

The City of Kitchener’s web site says it “try[s] to supply a voting course of that encourages the participation of individuals with a incapacity and evokes confidence in the municipal election.”

It says all voting places will probably be accessible on Monday and there have been accessible vote tabulators in any respect 5 advance ballot places. 

In an emailed assertion, Amanda Fusco, Kitchener’s director of legislated companies and the city clerk, mentioned that if an individual is homebound, they’ll request a proxy appointment at their house so a member of the family or buddy might vote in their place.

“Their proxy can attend a voting location with the licensed proxy kind and full an oath that they may vote as directed by the elector,” Fusco mentioned.

Home visits to vote aren’t accessible on the day of the municipal election as a result of votes are counted utilizing “an in-person, paper tabulator technique directed by Kitchener city council.”

Fusco additionally famous voting will be finished “anyplace on the voting location property and through advance voting, election officers did attend to electors from the parking zone.”

“One voting location in every ward comprises an accessible poll marking gadget that electors with disabilities can use to mark a poll utilizing a braille keypad, paddles or sip-n-puff gadget,” Fusco mentioned.

People who check optimistic for COVID-19 over the weekend can vote from the parking zone of a voting location.

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