FREDERICTON (GNB) – In preparation for local government elections in November, Elections New Brunswick is evaluating the accessibility of buildings it commonly rents as polling stations and returning offices during elections.

A team of returning officers will travel the province this month, assessing the buildings and ranking them on various accessibility standards.

“We are pleased to move to a more structured and formal process to evaluate the accessibility requirements of these buildings, rather than the previous method of having local returning officers do the evaluations using a manual checklist we provided,” said Chief Electoral Officer Kim Poffenroth.  

Elections New Brunswick adapted a tablet and app developed by Elections Nova Scotia and substituted New Brunswick’s geographical data. The app ranks each building on various accessibility requirements, including the number of designated parking spaces, the slope of wheelchair ramps, and the width of door entrances.

“This is the type of collaboration that election management bodies benefit from, without having to reinvent the wheel,” said Poffenroth. “I want to thank our colleagues at Elections Nova Scotia for sharing their technology with us.”

The building assessment data will be shared with the 17 municipal returning officers when they attend training in August.