[nfbmi-talk] Fw: [Nfbnet-members-list] Disability Rights Ohio lawsuit claims Ohio Secretary of State's voting services violate the ADA

Elizabeth Mohnke lizmohnke at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 8 19:15:03 UTC 2015

Hello Dave,

Thank you for sending this press release to the email list as I no longer
receive emails from the master NFB email list. I think this issue is
definitely an important issue here in Michigan given the recent discussion
and legislation regarding voting here in Michigan. So it seems like now
would be a good time for the state affiliate to work on this issue. 

Warm regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbmi-talk [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of David
Robinson via nfbmi-talk
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2015 1:45 PM
To: NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: David Robinson <drob1946 at gmail.com>
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Fw: [Nfbnet-members-list] Disability Rights Ohio
lawsuit claims Ohio Secretary of State's voting services violate the ADA

Our Ohio affiliate is on the barricades protecting our civil rights in Ohio.
What about this affiliate protecting our civil rights in Michigan.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Kuhnke,Kristian via Nfbnet-members-list 
To: nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org 
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2015 9:08 AM
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Disability Rights Ohio lawsuit claims Ohio
Secretary of State's voting services violate the ADA




      Stacy Brannan-Smith
      Communications Specialist
      Disability Rights Ohio
      800-282-9181, ext. 101
      sbrannan-smith at disabilityrightsohio.org 

      Chris Danielsen

      Director of Public Relations

      National Federation of the Blind

      (410) 659-9314, extension 2330

      cdanielsen at nfb.org 


Disability Rights Ohio lawsuit claims Ohio Secretary of State's voting
services violate the ADA

December 8, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH - Disability Rights Ohio and the law firm of Brown, Goldstein,
& Levy, LLP, have filed a federal lawsuit against the office of Ohio
Secretary of State Jon Husted. The suit, filed on behalf of three blind Ohio
voters and the National Federation of the Blind, alleges that some voting
services in Ohio are not accessible. This is in violation of Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act.

Registered Ohio voters Shelbi Hindel, Barbara Pierce, and Marianne Denning
are blind and unable to access important voting information and forms on the
Secretary of State's website because of the site's inaccessible design and
inability to work with screen access software. Additionally, because Ohio's
absentee ballots are only available on paper, blind voters are unable to
fill them out without assistance-an infringement on their right to cast a
ballot privately and independently. The suit asks the court to order
Secretary of State Husted's office to make the changes needed to rectify
these problems before the March 15, 2016, primary election in Ohio.

"Voting is important to me, and I want to be able to read through the
materials and be prepared for the upcoming Republican primary," explains
Hindel. "Current technology makes reading text easy for the blind, provided
the text is available in the right format. My polling location recently
moved to a site further from my house, so voting absentee is a more
convenient way for me to exercise my right to vote." 

According to Kristen Henry, attorney at Disability Rights Ohio, "Secretary
of State Husted has the responsibility to ensure that all eligible Ohioans
have equal access to the state's voting systems and resources. The solutions
for the problems we're raising are readily available. Unfortunately, our
attempts to collaborate with the state on this issue have not been

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:
"The technology to allow blind voters to mark absentee ballots privately and
independently is available and has been used successfully by blind voters,
myself included. This technology protects ballot secrecy and puts blind
voters on an equal footing with all other voters, as well as helping voters
who have disabilities in addition to blindness that prevent them from
getting to a polling place or using the voter technology available there.
The National Federation of the Blind will continue to fight for the right of
blind people in Ohio and throughout the nation to vote privately and




About Disability Rights Ohio: 

Disability Rights Ohio is the federally and state designated Protection and
Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program for the state of Ohio. The
mission of Disability Rights Ohio is to advocate for the human, civil and
legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. Disability Rights Ohio
provides legal advocacy and rights protection to a wide range of people with

About the National Federation of the Blind: 

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.











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