The only difficult thing about voting should be choosing who to vote for. But for many trans and non-binary folks, the voting process can be anxiety-provoking. That’s why we’ve been working to integrate more equitable and accessible practices into the voting process for the 2018 municipal election.
Questions about ID requirements, concerns about being misgendered or called by the wrong name, and the fear of discrimination at the voting station often results in many folks deciding not to exercise their right to vote. Community members without a fixed address face similar concerns about not being able to vote due to ID and confusion around proof of residency requirements.
The 519 is thrilled to be working with Election Services Toronto on reducing barriers for trans, non-binary, and voters without a fixed address. Over the past several months, we have been working together to identify and implement policies that increase accessibility to the ballot box for the communities we serve. From training protocols for election staff to creating specific infographics for queer and trans communities, we have been working hard to ensure that every eligible Torontonian feels safe and comfortable participating in their civic duty.
De-mystifying the voting process is central to increasing accessibility. Many folks may not know that voting ID does not need to include your photo or gender marker, or that if a voter feels that their designated voting location is not safe or accessible they can appoint a voting proxy or make a request for a ballot transfer. We’ve also worked closely with Election Services to ensure that elections staff are provided with the tools to create an inclusive voting experience through using gender-neutral language and not using gender markers on ID cards as a means to confirm identification.
As a City of Toronto Agency, The 519 knows how important it is to be involved in our shared civic life. As part of our commitment to city building and public service excellence, we have been participating in the City of Toronto’s Election Outreach Network and in the “adopt a poll” program, where city staff come together to oversee a voting location. We look forward to seeing you at our adopted polling location at The 519 on October 22. And don’t forget: it’s your city, your vote.
The 519 is one of many polling stations of Ward 13 Toronto-Centre. Your polling station depends on your registered address. Check myvote.toronto.ca/votingplace
Location: The 519 is located at 519 Church St. Toronto – half a block north of the Church and Wellesley intersection, on the east side of the street.
Our building is an accessible facility with a ramp, elevator, and all-gender washrooms.For any questions, please contact The 519 Front Desk Info@The519.org 416-392-6874