A Journey Towards Accessible Elections
Canadians with physical disabilities have always had the right to vote in principle, but they did not always have access to voting services. As early as 1874, Canadians were not prevented from the right to vote because they were blind or partially sighted; however, the elector had to ask the deputy returning officer to help them mark the ballot in the presence of sworn agents of the candidates – far from a secret ballot!
Over the years, CNIB has engaged in advocacy efforts to make sure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the right to cast their ballot privately and independently during federal elections. While the landscape of federal elections has changed drastically since 1930, CNIB continues to advocate to Parliamentarians and Elections Canada to include measures that would increase the independence and secrecy of the vote for electors who are blind or partially sighted.
On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, CNIB is highlighting some of our advocacy efforts related to federal elections. Read on to discover CNIB’s advocacy efforts over the years and learn about the electoral process for people who are blind or partially sighted in other parts of the world!