[nfbmi-talk] hold the presses

Terry D. Eagle terrydeagle at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 2 00:19:09 UTC 2016



Contact:  Mark Eagle (517) 394-4548  <mailto:markaeagle at yahoo.com> markaeagle at yahoo.com 


Persons with Disabilities aren’t allowed to vote independently for President of the United States.



LANSING – A blind Lansing resident Mark Eagle went to his City Clerk’s office on Monday, February 29 to cast an absentee ballot for the upcoming Presidential primary being held on Tuesday March 8th. 


When Mr. Eagle indicated that he wanted to use the automark to fill out his ballot independently he was told they didn’t have an automark available at the city clerk’s office.  Shortly after voting Mr. Eagle got in contact with the City of Lansing Clerk Chris Swope. Swope told Mr. Eagle over the phone the State of Michigan stated local clerks weren’t allowed to have automarks at the clerk’s office because it is not considered a polling location like on Election Day. 


Astounded by this response, Mr. Eagle reacted by contacting the Michigan Bureau of Elections to confirm the validity of this. An election specialist did indicate that local clerks offices are not allowed to have automarks at stationed at the clerk’s office for absentee ballots. When Mr. Eagle pressed for further clarification of what law, rule or policies outline this, he was directed to the Director of the Election Liaison Division, Sally Williams.  Ms. Williams said they have never heard of the problem and it would need to be researched further.


Mr. Eagle stated, “I am disappointed as a person with a visual disability that I am not allowed to cast a secret ballot independently. Elections are fundamental to our democracy and every citizen should be treated fairly and equally when voting. I hope the state of Michigan can change its stance in order to allow more individuals like myself to participate in the election process”  .

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