Man in a wheelchair wearing a mask

Voting Accessibility

Elections BC wants elections to be accessible to all voters. We want people to be able to vote no matter what their needs are.

We have services for voters with disabilities or underlying health conditions to help them vote.

Voting by phone

You can vote by phone if you can’t vote on your own another way. Your voter information must be up to date to vote by phone.

You can vote by phone if you:

  • have sight loss
  • have a disability or underlying health condition that stops you from voting on your own
  • are self-isolating during the last week before the election and can’t vote by mail

To vote by phone you must:

  • meet one of the criteria above
  • confirm you are eligible to vote

Telephone operators will help you vote by phone. They will make sure your vote is secret.

You can call 1-800-661-8683 to see if you can vote by phone.

Marking the ballot

You can get help marking your ballot for any reason. Tell the election official at the voting place if you want help.

You can also bring a friend or family member to help you. Your friend or family member must declare they will help based on your wishes.

Assistive/adaptive devices

Voters can bring their own devices to the voting places to use. There is also an Accessible Voting System at each district electoral office to allow voters to vote independently. This includes voters with sight loss and voters with others forms of disability. Voters will have the option to listen to an audio recording of the candidate list for their district and cast their vote by using a hand-held selector device, sip-and-puff straws or paddles.

Resources for voters who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted

All voting places have resources for you to mark your ballot if you have sight loss.

All voting places have:

  • the List of Candidates in uncontracted Braille
  • Braille ballot templates
  • large print ballot posters

Resources for voters who are deaf or hard of hearing

We train our election officials to help if you are deaf or hard of hearing. There are visual aids at all voting places.

You can also:

  • bring an interpreter to help
  • contact Elections BC by phone using voice to text services or by Video Relay Service (VRS) at 1-888-456-5448

Voting place accessibility

All advance voting places and most general voting places are physically accessible to voters using mobility devices. If you can’t enter a voting place you can vote outside the building (at the curb or in the parking lot).

Translators and interpreters

You are welcome to bring a translator or interpreter to help at the voting place. This includes interpreters for:

  • sign language
  • tactile signing
  • tracking

The translator or interpreter must declare they are able to act as a translator or interpreter. They must declare they will do the best job they can.

Accessibility committee

In 2023, we created an accessibility committee at Elections BC. We created the committee as required by the Accessible BC Act.

The committee helps us identify barriers. It advises us on how to prevent and remove barriers.

Committee members are experts on disabilities and accessibility. They recommend ways to make BC elections more accessible.

Current members of the committee are:

Nicole Geary

Nicole Geary is a mixed Sahtu-Dene x Settler woman with an unbroken matrilineal connection to Treaty 11 Territory, Tłegóhłį (land where there is oil), colonially called Norman Wells, NWT.

Nicole was born and raised on the traditional territory of the Algonquin, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat peoples (Kingston, ON) and currently resides on the beautiful territory of the Lekwungen-speaking Songhees and Esquimalt peoples (Victoria, BC).

As an Indigenous person who had to grow up away from her community and traditional teachings due to the impacts of residential schools and the 60’s scoop, Nicole has a unique understanding of the urban-Indigenous experience as well as the intergenerational and current effects that past and present colonial systems have on Indigenous peoples. Nicole has completed education in Indigenous Family Support and has years of experience working in Indigenous communities and with Indigenous youth and families.

Nancy Harris

Nancy Harris has over 35 years of experience advocating for increased accessibility for people with disabilities in BC. She has been instrumentally involved with Measuring up the North, the conception of the Access North project and its transformation to Access BC. She sits on a number of provincial and regional committees that work to implement universal design in recreation and leisure, tourism, the built environment and community planning. Nancy also consults in audits and universal design concepts, especially for outdoor spaces. When Nancy is not busy running around the province in pursuit of accessibility for all she enjoys being in and around water, flowers, gardening and her collection of fur and feather critters on the family hobby farm in rural Prince George. Her musical ear leans towards country music and she enjoys concerts of local musicians on a regular basis. Her travelling shoes are always itching to enjoy a new adventure.

Betty Nobel

Betty Nobel was born in New Westminster, British Columbia and has always lived on the West Coast. Due to her premature birth, she was placed in an incubator with pure oxygen causing a condition known as Retinopathy of Prematurity resulting in total loss of vision.

After obtaining her BA degree, while looking for a teaching job, she got a call about a job teaching a deafblind person English and Math. This started off her 30-year career teaching at Vancouver Community College. Betty retired from the college in March of 2014, but went back to work to teach in three different school districts: North Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby. In 2002, Betty was awarded the YWCA Woman of Distinction award for Training, Education and Development.

Since Betty enjoys giving back to her community, she serves on the boards of several organizations including Vision Loss Rehab Canada (VLRC), Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), and the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir (GNVGC). In addition, she currently chairs the Wayfinding and Signage Committee for Accessible Standards Canada.

Greg Pyc

Greg Pyc has been involved with disability issues since the late 70’s after becoming disabled as a result of a motor vehicle accident. He has worked on national, provincial and local issues on all areas of accessibility, including transportation, employment, housing and electoral regulation. He has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni award from his alma mater for his work on accommodation, regulation and legislation for people with disabilities. He was instrumental in bringing about change to the regulations for disabled travellers and worked on tax initiatives to assist people with disabilities who were employed. His work on employment programs goes back to 1979 and his record in program development has resulted in one of the most successful employment programs for people with disabilities in Canada. He has been National Operations Manager for Neil Squire Society since 2001.

Rob Sleath

Rob Sleath experienced a total sight loss in 1992 during his career in the financial services and insurance sector. For the past 31 years he’s volunteered much of his time and lived experience addressing attitudinal, physical, and systemic barriers, advocating for equality and independent access for persons with disabilities, focusing primarily on issues that impact those living with sight loss.

Starting in 2004, he began to build awareness with Elections BC for a more accessible election process. His vision: Develop a process whereby voters with sight loss could vote independently without assistance.

In late 2015, he was appointed team lead of Barrier-Free BC which lobbied the BC Legislature to enact an Accessible BC Act. His efforts earned him his current appointment to the Provincial Accessibility Committee whose mandate it is to assist in the development of standards and regulations within the ACT. He looks forward to working with Elections BC and members of EBC’s advisory committee.

Dr. Jewelles Smith

Dr. Jewelles Smith is a feminist disability activist, scholar, writer, and artist. Smith uses her voice to amplify the issues of human rights, disability and women through research, mainstream media, and education. Smith holds a PhD from UBCO, and is trained in human rights monitoring, disability human rights justice, and methods in using legislation, policy, and human rights treaties to challenge inequality. She has a particular passion for democratic engagement for all citizens, including people with disabilities. Smith resides in Canada with her service dog, DaVinci.

Christopher T. Sutton

As the Chief Executive Officer at Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility, Christopher T. Sutton, MBA, draws on over 20 years of cross-functional and progressive leadership experience. He has worked with some of the largest organizations that serve people with disabilities in both the United States and Canada, spanning across the not-for-profit, public, and start-up sectors.

Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gallaudet University, a Master of Business Administration from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, and several professional certifications. His expertise in accessibility, diversity and inclusion issues have made him a sought-after expert, resulting in his membership on numerous national and provincial committees.

Having been born with a profound hearing loss, Christopher grew up using hearing aids and underwent cochlear implant surgery in 2008 to expand his communication options. He currently volunteers with charities, mentors young adults and assists smaller organizations with developing social enterprises. In his free time, Christopher enjoys travel, beach destinations, biking, cooking, and reading. Christopher is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, and has lived in Toronto, Ottawa, and Washington, DC, before settling in Vancouver, BC in March 2020.

Karla Verschoor

Karla Verschoor has been with Inclusion BC since 2006. She has worked in various leadership roles as an advocate, strategic planner, and now as the Executive Director. Inclusion BC has a longstanding relationship with Election BC rooted in our shared vision of a fully accessible electoral system. A system that supports people with intellectual development to exercise their right to vote as full citizens. Karla has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta where she studied Political Science and Government and a Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement from Simon Fraser University.

Accessibility plan

Our Accessibility Plan helps us identify, remove and prevent barriers. This helps people who work with Elections BC and people who interact with Elections BC.

View the plan in:

We completed the plan in August 2023. It will be updated every two years. We will base updates on feedback from the public and from our accessibility committee.

We welcome your feedback on our Accessibility Plan. We also welcome feedback on any barriers you face with Elections BC.

Please see our Accessibility Feedback page for more information.