What We Heard on Demonstration Day
Overall Experience and Feedback from Participants and EC Personnel
This section presents an overview of feedback received from both participants and EC staff who took part in Demonstration Day. While there were some hiccups and opportunities for improvement, most thought the day was a good use of their time, and were satisfied with their experience.
Following demonstration day, participants were asked to fill a last online survey on their experience. A total of 26 participants responded (see Annex VI for the detailed survey results). The main opinions expressed by respondents were:
- Satisfaction regarding their participation: Most respondents were satisfied with their experience of Demonstration Day and assessed that it was a good use of their time.
- Participation was easy: While every respondent said that they found participating in Demonstration Day easy, three out of four said it was very easy.
- Planning not quite so easy: Fewer respondents said that preparing for Demonstration Day was very easy, with more thinking it was somewhat easy.
More than half of the comments provided mentioned how much they liked the experience. EC employees' hosting and assistance as well as the content of the sessions and kiosks were much appreciated. That being said, a number of issues were highlighted and some suggestions for improvements were made by respondents.
The space and facilities were not ideal for the purposes of Demo Day. Some participants felt there were not enough chairs when they were waiting for the next activity. Others said that rooms were too small and that there was not enough space. Also, the fact that two demonstrations were done in the same room created a noisy environment in which it was difficult to participate in the simulation.
The other main issue had to do with the schedule, which some felt could have been tighter, while one respondent deemed the sessions too long. Two respondents wished they had more time to visit the kiosks. One person found the day overwhelming due to the amount of information and interaction. Other minor issues regarding the lunch were raised.
Participants provided numerous suggestions for the organizers about various aspects of the day.
In terms of preparation for the event, some respondents said it was not clear to them that they would take part in a simulated election, or that they would be asked to use mock identification papers that were different from their own situation (eg, not registered, with information not up to date, etc.). Many also felt that there were too many surveys, and for some participants with a disability it was extremely time-consuming to review all the communication products and to answer the surveys. Finally, some would have liked to have the agenda for kiosks included in their information packages.
Regarding the demonstrations, some participants would have liked to "stress-test" the voting methods a bit more, and therefore asked for more time to experiment with problem situations where things are more likely to go wrong. Splitting the participants by groups was deemed especially important for the TAP demonstration, as different groups have different concerns regarding technology. One participant asked for better explanations for the use of technology at advance polls.
Regarding the discussion groups, participants suggested increasing the number of participants in the session to obtain a broader range of perspectives, and others called for more Indigenous participants to reflect the diversity of viewpoints from different communities. As the two discussions felt repetitive, some suggested to either group them as a single discussion, or to change the formula of the second one.
In terms of accessibility, participants raised the possibility of offering the survey in braille, and some asked for the opportunity to try the new iPad system with Voice Over. One person asked to have translation services instead of having the facilitator translate during the explanations.
Finally, some thought that participants should get compensation, as is done for focus groups.
While not fully evaluated in this report, business owners took significant lessons from the operations of the Demonstration Day, particularly related to the processing time required for the new services. Despite working with a diverse audience with a wide range of accessibility needs, each of the simulations took significantly less time than allocated for these activities. This was particularly the case for the Voting on Campus simulation, where more time had been budgeted to compensate for the lack of experience of participants with this voting method.
At the kiosks, some of the business owners tried to simulate the voter experience in registering voters and in assisting electors in finding where to vote through a new online application. In the first instance, staff in E-Registration found that some capabilities of the system were more difficult to access than originally thought, and this would require further focus testing.
Participant feedback on the design and layout of the Demonstration Day also has relevance for polling place accessibility. Members commented that signage placed on the floor was not accessible and an encumbrance for voters in wheelchairs, and that the floor layout was not easy to manoeuvre for electors with disabilities, despite meeting the accessibility requirements for a new building.
In general, the findings from business owners were positive, and teams were encouraged by the speed at which different voter services were administered and the immediate response of satisfaction from participants.