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September 30, 2010
City of Toronto ready for October 25 election
  
The City of Toronto today announced its plans for the October 25 municipal election, including advance voting, accessibility at voting places and communication of election results.

Ulli S. Watkiss, City Clerk, told media representatives who gathered at Toronto's election warehouse, "This year we have 476 candidates running for 84 offices for city council and the school boards. It's admirable that so many individuals have stepped forward to get involved with municipal government. As the City Clerk, it is my job to make sure the election is run in accordance with provincial law and to ensure that the election is accessible to all eligible voters."

"There is a tremendous amount of planning that goes into an election of this size," said Bonita Pietrangelo, Director of Elections and Registry Services. "From the hiring of over 10,000 people to work on Election Day, to the assembly and delivery of supply bags for over 1,600 voting places, to the numerous communication materials created - many hours of work are going into the preparation of Toronto's 2010 municipal election."

A significant effort has already gone into making sure the election is accessible to all electors and candidates - and to create a positive voting experience. Among the initiatives is the use of accessible voting equipment available to all electors. Touch screen terminals will be available at the six locations across Toronto where weekday advance voting will be available six days in October. This technology enables partially sighted or blind individuals to vote independently and in privacy.

In addition, voter assist terminals - a paper ballot-marking system - will be provided at 44 locations across the city during the weekend advance voting (October 16 and a 17), as well as at one location per ward on Election Day (October 25). The voter assist terminal allows voters with various special needs to mark their ballot privately and independently. The specific locations are listed on the City's website. Electors who want to use a voter assist terminal on October 25 are asked to call Election Services at 416-338-1111 before October 18 to obtain a transfer certificate to be able to vote at the location in their ward that has the voter assist terminal.

Elections staff have been working directly with disability groups to help spread the word about voting, and staff have also demonstrated the technology at various meetings, fairs and other events. Instructional "how to" videos have been distributed widely. In addition, booklets on "How to vote" will be available at each voting place in large print, 22 languages and Braille as well as for download from the website.

The City's communications initiatives for the election have addressed the broader electorate as well as voters with special needs. A great deal of effort has gone into making the Toronto Election website useful to people. One of the most helpful tools on http://www.toronto.ca/elections is the "Where do I vote" application. The City has also been communicating via Twitter and Facebook.

As a follow-up to the detailed election information presented in the latest edition of Our Toronto newsletter that was delivered to Toronto households in August, a special mailout providing election details is currently being delivered to all Toronto households.

The City's communications have also highlighted new identification (ID) requirements, describing the ID that electors must bring with them to vote.

Toronto's weekday advance voting will run from October 5 to 8 and on October 12 and 13 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at City Hall as well as at the East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and York civic centres.

Advance voting will also be available one weekend in October. Weekend advance voting will be held at one location in each ward Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Election Day, October 25, voting places will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The public can call 311 (TTY service 416-338-0889), with telephone-based interpretation available in about 200 languages. People can also e-mail elections@toronto.ca with questions - such as whether or not they are on the voters' list. Useful information about the election is also available online at http://www.toronto.ca/elections.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
Rob Andrusevich, Strategic Communications, 416-397-4149, randrus@toronto.ca
Cheryn Thoun, Strategic Communications, 416-919-6501, cthoun@toronto.ca




 

 

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