Three photos

Three photos

Above: (1) During the First World War, special arrangements were made so that Canadian soldiers in Europe could vote in the 1917 federal election.
(2) Military personnel were among the first electors to benefit from new voting options that made the electoral process more accessible.

Making the Vote Accessible
Various voting options were introduced over the years to accommodate electors unable to go to the polls on election day. The postal ballot appeared in 1915, advance polls in 1920, and proxy voting in 1970.

The desire to give every citizen who is entitled to vote the opportunity to exercise that right also prompted other measures. Since 1915, employers must give their staff time off during voting hours, if their work schedule does not leave them enough time to vote. Level access to polling stations – for persons with disabilities – became a legal requirement in 1992, after Elections Canada had taken the initiative to make it generally available since 1988. Electors with a visual impairment can vote without assistance, using a voting template provided by poll officials on request. Any elector who may have trouble with voting procedures can receive assistance.

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