We are committed to removing voting barriers faced by Ontarians with disabilities and to making the electoral process more accessible for all voters. Services for accessible voting include assistive voting technology, assistance at the polls, and voting by mail, home visit or in the hospital.
We also strive to ensure that information and documents on this site are accessible for people with disabilities. If you require information in an alternative format, please contact us using the details below and we will work with you to understand and meet your specific accessibility needs.
We offer Assistive Voting Technology in all returning offices and satellite offices from the first day of advance polls through to the day before election day at 6 P.M. (Eastern Time). This allows persons with disabilities to cast their ballot secretly and independently.
Voters who choose to use the Assistive Voting Technology device will be able to listen to the ballot choices and make their selection using three controller options:
- The Audio Tactile Interface or ATI controller: It includes large raised buttons and bright colours and has Braille inscriptions. The controller is also described by audio.
- Paddles: For voters who cannot use the keypad, there are red and blue paddles which can be pressed using hands, feet or even elbows. The paddles are labeled L for left and R for right.
- Sip and Puff Technology: The Sip and Puff technology is a method used to send signals to a device using air pressure by "sipping" (inhaling) or "puffing" (exhaling) into a straw.
At the polls:
- We teach our election officials how to provide customer service in an accessible manner.
- We make sure all our voting locations meet our site accessibility standards.
- Election officials can bring the ballot box outside the voting location to make the process more accessible.
- If you would like to transfer to another voting location that better meets your accessibility needs, you can apply at the returning office to have their voting location transferred. This must be done before election day.
When casting your ballot:
- We provide magnifiers and easy-grip pencils.
- We provide ballot templates with Braille numbering and cut outs, which help voters with limited or no vision mark their ballot independently.
- Voters may bring a friend or support person to assist with marking their ballot.
- Voters who require it may book an American Sign Language interpreter from the Canadian Hearing Society to accompany them to vote. Elections Ontario will cover the cost of the interpreter.
Ontario electors can apply to vote by mail once a general election or by-election in their electoral district has been called.
To vote by mail using special ballot, you will need to complete an application form and provide a copy of your identification. Your identifcation can be submitted by mail as a photocopy, or electronically as a photograph or scanned document.
To obtain an application form:
- Download it from our website (this will become available once a general election or by-election has been called)
- Contact us by calling collect at 1-416-649-1046
- Email us at email@example.com.
To submit your completed application form:
- Scan your application form and identification document and email them as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mail your application form and a photocopy of your identification document to Elections Ontario, Special Ballot, 51 Rolark Drive, Toronto, Ontario M1R 3B1
- Fax your application form and a copy of your identification document to 1-416-212-8723 or toll free in Canada and USA at 1-888-483-4448
We MUST receive your application and a copy of your identification document no later than 6:00 P.M. (Eastern Time) six days before election day.
A special ballot officer at Elections Ontario will review your application and the copy of your identification document. If your application is approved, you will be sent a special ballot kit.
The special ballot kit includes:
- A write-in ballot
- A secrecy envelope
- An elector confirmation envelope
- A pre-addressed return envelope
- Detailed voting instructions
Once the kit has been mailed to you, you will be unable to choose another voting option, such as voting at an advance poll or in person on election day.
We use a courier service to mail ballots. In order for you to receive your ballot within two to three days, your mailing address must be a physical address. If your mailing address includes a Post Office Box, your ballot may be delayed by up to two weeks.
We MUST receive your write-in ballot no later than 6:00 P.M. (Eastern Time) on election day.
You can choose to request a home visit if:
- If you are unable to go to the returning office because of a disability,
- you are unable to read or write,
- you are unable to complete an application form, and/or
- you are someone who requires assistance.
To request a home visit, contact your local returning office. Returning office information will become available as soon as a general election or by-election in your electoral district is called. You will be able to find returning office information on your Voter Information Card, by using our Voter Information service, or by contacting us.
Two election officials will then bring an application form and a blank write-in ballot to your home to assist you in voting.
If you are hospitalized during a general election, you can vote by special ballot during our three day Hospital Program.
You will be able to use either your hospital bracelet or any other identification document that shows your name and address.
An election official will bring an application form and a blank write-in ballot to the hospital to assist you in voting.
Not all hospitals in the province of Ontario participate in the Hospital Program. To find out if your hospital participates in the Hospital Program, contact your local returning office, or Elections Ontario by calling collect to 1-416-649-1046.
Returning office information will become available once a general election has been called. You will be able to find returning office information on your Voter Information Card, using our Voter Information service, or by contacting us.