[Ctabs] Voting In the August Primary As... Military and Overseas Voters

Nathanael T. Wales ntwales at omsoft.com
Wed Jul 29 17:00:54 UTC 2020

Fellow NFB Members and Blind, Print Disabled, or Otherwise Disabled Voters
Similarly Concerned:


As you can't help knowing by now, the National Federation of the Blind and
our NFB of Connecticut affiliate have been advocating as strongly as
possible to make the absentee ballots, available now to every voter for the
August 11 primary and the November 3 general election, also accessible to us
so that we can vote those ballots on our own, privately and independently.
Scott LaBarre, a member of the NFB National Board of Directors, looked at
our State of Connecticut website and has a temporary suggestion of how we
could do so for the August 11 primary as we advocate for a complete and
proper system for the general election.  I've already begun the process of
requesting this from my town registrar of voters.  If you are eligible to
participate in the August 11 primary (and I realize that some, for example
Independents in Stamford, are not), Maryanne, Scott, and I encourage you to
consider this temporary suggestion.


Perhaps I was confused at the National Convention caucus, but Connecticut
DOES send absentee ballots to military members overseas electronically-by
e-mail.  It isn't clear how they return them (maybe they still have to print
and mail them), but the electronic delivery IS done.  Specifically from the
state's website:



We suggest that voters who are eligible and want to vote in the August 11
primary could request the same sort of ballot that they are sending to
overseas military members.  It is probably best to request this from your
town registrar; the registrar may end up referring you to the town or city
clerk.  You should request that the ballot be delivered by e-mail.  You
should state that you are requesting an absentee ballot in this format and
delivered this way as a reasonable accommodation, under Title II of the
Americans With Disabilities Act, to your disability which prevents you from
privately and independently completing a print-on-paper absentee ballot.
Further, you should state that you are requesting this as a temporary
accommodation until the State has in place an accessible ballot marking tool
which allows for both remote ballot marking as well as remote ballot return.
In my case, I completed and signed the regular absentee ballot application
that I got in the mail, and I attached a scanned copy to my e-mail as
back-up for my request.


This isn't too far off from what we want.  I'm not sure if the ballot we'd
get e-mailed will be usable with JAWS or whatever, but we won't know until
we ask and can deal with that issue when it comes.  (For example, it could
always be OCRed, selections marked with "XXX" next to them, and printed and


Let us-and the list if you wish, too-know how you make out.


I hope this may increase the number of us able to vote privately,
independently, accessibly, and absentee for the August 11 primary.  And I'm
glad to assist anyone who needs help with this.


Nathanael Wales

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