[Nfbc-info] Secretary of state launches survey to assess needs of voters with disabilities

Michael Hingson info at michaelhingson.com
Thu May 17 23:07:11 UTC 2012

Thanks Chuck.

Mike Hingson

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of ckrugman at sbcglobal.net
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 03:40 PM
To: NFB of California List
Subject: [Nfbc-info] Secretary of state launches survey to assess needs of
voters with disabilities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Shannan Velayas May 16, 2012 (916) 653-6575
Secretary Bowen Launches Survey to 
    Assess Needs of Voters with Disabilities SACRAMENTO - As Californians
prepare to vote in the June 5 Presidential Primary Election, California
Secretary of State Debra Bowen launched the state's first online survey to
help elections officials assess and address the needs of voters with
"Voting is our most sacred right in a democracy and everyone should be able
to exercise that right independently and privately," said Secretary Bowen,
the state's chief elections officer. 
"While California elections officials offer many resources to voters with
disabilities, I want to know if these voters are aware of all the options
and services available to them, as well as whether they are encountering
unnecessary challenges when voting." 
The Secretary of State's office established the eight-member Statewide
Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC) in 2005 to provide guidance
to elections officials serving voters with disabilities. Since then, the
Secretary of State's office updated 10-year-old polling place accessibility
guidelines and provided training to county elections staff on the federal
and state requirements for accessible polling places, all in collaboration
with the VAAC and the California Department of Rehabilitation. Now the
Secretary of State is asking voters with disabilities to participate in a
brief confidential survey available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/P8MW27Q
through June 29. Survey results will help identify whether there is a need
for more training, modified services, or enhanced outreach programs for
voters with disabilities. 
Following are key resources that are available to California voters with
Large-Print and Audio Formats: Official ballots and the Secretary of State's
Voter Information Guide are available in alternate formats for voters with
visual disabilities. For more information about large-print or audio formats
of ballots in a specific precinct, voters should contact their county
elections offices or, at the polling place on Election Day, ask a poll
worker for more information about using a special voting machine. To
download the MP3 audio version or the large-print version of the Secretary
of State's Voter Information Guide, go to
The Secretary of State also takes phone orders for state voter guides, which
are available in 10 languages (see below for phone numbers). 
Polling Place Accessibility: State and federal laws require polling places
to be physically accessible to voters with disabilities, and every person
who works in a polling place on Election Day is there to ensure voters'
rights are protected. In California, each polling place has at least
- MORE -
May 16, 2012
Page 2
one voting machine that allows voters, including those with disabilities, to
cast a ballot without assistance. California law also permits up to two
people of a voter's choice, excluding the voter's employer or union
representative, to assist in marking the ballot. If a voter cannot come into
the polling place, "curbside voting" is an option in which a poll worker
carries a ballot outside the polling place to the voter. 
Voting by Mail: Any California voter may vote in the comfort of home by
asking to vote by mail. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot for
the state primary election is May 29. A registered voter may request a
ballot by using the application printed on the back of the sample ballot
booklet (mailed to the voter by the county elections office) or the uniform
application available at
Voter Hotlines: The Secretary of State offers phone assistance to voters in
10 languages and Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD): 
English (800) 345-VOTE (8683)
Spanish (800) 232-VOTA (8682)
Chinese (800) 339-2857
Hindi (800) 345-2692
Japanese (800) 339-2865
Khmer (888) 345-4917
Korean (866) 575-1558
Tagalog (800) 339-2957
Thai (855) 345-3933
Vietnamese (800) 339-8163
TDD (800) 833-8683
For more information on how voters with disabilities can vote privately and
independently, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_dis.htm.
Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following
@CASOSvote on Twitter. To subscribe to state election news via email, RSS
feed or Twitter, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia. 
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