March 16, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick's chief electoral officer, Michael Quinn, is pleased with the introduction of new technology and processes at the polls during the municipal elections last year. Quinn touched on these highlights in a report filed this week at the clerk's office of the legislature.
"We were very proud to pilot an audio-vote system of voting at the returning offices during these elections," Quinn said. "This included features that allowed individuals with visual impairments or hand-mobility impairments to vote independently for the first time."
At least one other province, Saskatchewan, is considering offering the same service to its voters.
Elections New Brunswick worked closely with the Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons and the Neil Squire Society to identify and remove barriers for voters at the polling station; they also worked to identify and acquire a number of assistive devices.
The streamlined polling procedures were welcomed by voters, and they drew favourable attention from visiting election officials from across Canada.
"I was invited by Elections Canada to do a special presentation in Ottawa last November on our procedures, which can be used with or without the voting technology," said Quinn. "We have also been requested to put on a demonstration to the Conference of Canadian Election Officials. It is gratifying when a small province such as New Brunswick takes a leadership role."
MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Quinn, chief electoral officer, Elections New Brunswick, 506-453-2218.