July 15th - Toronto ACORN members are holding an action at city hall to draw attention to the need for greater accessibility to polling locations in high rise buildings in the upcoming municipal election.
We are calling on election officials to utilize their power under Section 13.4 of the Ontario Elections Act and place polling stations in all buildings containing 100 or more units where accessible space is available.
Providing increased accessibility in large buildings by providing polling stations is another tool election officials have to help address the endemic low voter turnout in these polls.
ACORN member Cathy Birch who uses a scooter expresses her reliance on a polling station in her building, saying:
“I live in a building with 300 units and if there wasn’t a polling station I just wouldn’t vote. There are too many places that are not accessible. To get in and out of a place that has stairs is impossible, and that essentially takes away my ability to vote.”
ACORN member and St. Jamestown resident Edward Lantz comments:
“They just had a by-election in my riding. My building has over 400 units and didn’t have it’s own polling station, none of the buildings here did and we have 30,000 people living here. A lot of people didn’t even know there was an election.”
This event is part of Toronto ACORN’s “Tenants Vote 2010” campaign. This campaign is working to increase the tenant voter participation rates in areas with high concentrations of low income renters in the upcoming municipal election.