Accessible Voting Registration Systems Petition

Petition To Ensure Voting Accessibility to Individuals with Disabilities

Purpose:

The purpose of this petition is to remind your election officials that independent voting is a right. Computer assisted voting was introduced in the late 1990s. This allowed for the inclusion of assistive technology for people with disabilities to assist with casting a ballot. This first generation of voting technology was a breakthrough in recognizing disability rights. However, casting the ballot is just one part of the voting experience.

Checking in with the poll workers who verify your eligibility is the other major portion of the voting process at the polls. Verification of eligibility has become the focus in recent years as more challenges to an individual’s eligibility are legislated almost every year.

Since technology is now permitting paper binders to be replaced with computers to look up voter records at the polling places, the right to move through that process independently must be supported. Electronic poll books are a convenience for election administrators. 

Unfortunately, many election administrators are not looking beyond their own convenience as they make this significant purchase. 

Many local and state election jurisdictions are overlooking the voter’s desire to drive and monitor the check-in process. They are overlooking the opportunity to make the poll place check-in process accessible to people with disabilities.  As technology allows us to replace paper poll books, we want to ensure that this technology is purchased with broad support for accessibility.

 

Petition to my elected and appointed officials responsible for elections: 

I hereby demand that local, state and federal election officials require all new election technology, including but not limited to voting and voter check in and election day registration systems be computer driven, check-in solutions which provide full interactive access to users with disabilities. All my information shall be delivered to me privately. All my choices will be made directly by me with my choices kept private to the extent allowed by law.

 

Why a Petition?

Signing this petition will state clearly to your local and state governments that accessibility of the check-in process is not an option. We the people require that government assures every voter a private, dignified, accessible path through the entire act of voting.

These requirements fall under the spirit of the Help America Vote Act which requires Uniform and Nondiscriminatory Election Technology and Administration. They also must adhere to the letter of The Americans with Disabilities Act and the guidelines set forth for technology under section 508 of the rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended.

If we do not get the word to our local or state government, they may purchase poll place check-in technology that is not accessible to voters with disabilities. Without accessible check-in, all your information and choices will continue to be spoken loudly to everyone present in the poll place.  You will not be able to check in independently nor privately. You will not be able to interact directly with the computer to verify your information is correct.

Voting equipment purchases have a ten year or longer expected life. You can expect to be denied your independence until the next purchase cycle.

The critical information for you to provide is your name, so your elections office can find you on the voter rolls or send you a registration application and your zip code so we know which government units to make aware of your concern. 

If you supply your email we will use it only to update you on progress on the petition(s) you sign.

Comments are always appreciated. They will not be associated with ANY of your personal information.

You Will Make a Difference:

Signing this petition will send a clear message to your local and state government officials that accessibility is mandated and that we the people require them, in their official capacity, to provide the best available accessible tools at their earliest opportunity.

Background:

The right to cast a private and independent ballot is every American’s sacred privilege. There is no debate whether casting a private ballot is a right, and to the majority it is only common sense. It is a duty in this free society that many see as equal to the duty that members of our military feel when they put on a uniform and stand up in battle to defend our freedom.

The advance of technology can now provide a private and independent voting opportunity to a growing population of citizens with varying abilities and limitations. This advance of technology must not stop with the act of voting itself, it must continue to advance through the rest of the election process, from voter check-in, to polling place accessibility, to casting the ballot.

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