‘Ask Hamilton’ launches for Google and Alexa devices ahead of municipal election

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Published October 3, 2022 at 3:14 pm

'Ask Hamilton' launches for Google and Alexa devices ahead of municipal election
Hamilton residents looking for city information, like who their councillor is and where and how they can vote, can now ask Google and Alexa for assistance.

Hamilton residents looking for city information, like who their councillor is and where and how they can vote, can now ask Google and Alexa for assistance.

Launched in time for the Oct. 24 municipal election, the City of Hamilton announced Monday that they are piloting two new online tools – a voice query directory and a virtual assistant – to help residents find information.

Ask Hamilton can be launched by saying, “Hey Google” or “Hey Alexa,” followed by “Ask the City of Hamilton.”

“One of the most important mandates of my role as City Clerk is to ensure that elections are accessible,” said Andrea Holland. “By listening, learning and evolving with the community, we can more easily identify and remove barriers to voting.”

“It is my hope that by using technology and tools in new ways for this election, we can help make the voting process as easy and accessible as possible for eligible voters in Hamilton this October.”

'Ask Hamilton' launches for Google and Alexa devices ahead of municipal election

More information about how to enable Ask Hamilton on different devices, as well as a detailed list of questions, is available at hamilton.ca/elections.

Additionally, the city’s website now has an Elections Virtual Assistant chatbot tool that can be accessed on the elections-focused pages. Users can type a question or topic about the upcoming municipal election in the search box to receive more information on the subject.

“The City of Hamilton is focused on continuous improvement, innovation and modernization,” said Cyrus Tehrani, Chief Digital Officer & Director of Innovation. “By introducing new technologies that allow those in our community to more easily access our services and information, we are ensuring that customer service remains at the forefront of the voting experience – both for this municipal election and in future.”

'Ask Hamilton' launches for Google and Alexa devices ahead of municipal election

The city says it is piloting both online tools “specifically for the upcoming municipal election to continue increasing access and reducing barriers to voting.”

Eligible voters in Hamilton can cast their ballot in many ways, including ballot on-demand on Oct. 18, on advanced voting days (Oct. 7, 8, 14, and 15), and election day (Oct. 24) at 157 polling stations across all 15 wards.

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