[NFBV-Potomac-Announce] Minnesota Agrees to Provide Accessible Absentee Voting Option for Blind Voters

National Federation of the Blind webmaster at nfb.org
Mon Oct 26 19:00:28 UTC 2020





Celebrating 100 years of advocacy for the blind, the National Federation of
the Blind of Minnesota praises the Secretary of State's introduction of a
system by which blind Minnesotans can accessibly, safely, and privately
mark their absentee ballots in time for the November 2020 election. This
system is a direct result of years of advocacy from the National Federation
of the Blind of Minnesota--an affiliate of the oldest and largest
nationwide organization of blind Americans--in partnership with the Brown,
Goldstein and Levy law firm, Disability Law Center and members of the
Secretary of State's disability advisory committee. 

Without this system, blind voters would have been forced to either vote
absentee with assistance, revealing their choices to another person and
hoping that person correctly records their vote, or risk COVID-19 infection
by traveling to the polls to vote in person. No voter should be faced with
this untenable choice in order to exercise their right to vote. 

"The ability to cast a secret ballot has only recently become an option for
blind Minnesotans, and today marks the next, right step in our decades of
advocacy that increases access to voting," said Ryan Strunk, President of
the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. "We applaud these
measures to ensure that blind Minnesotans can protect both our safety and
our privacy in this election. We look forward to continuing our
longstanding, nonpartisan partnership with the Secretary of State to make
this system even better in the future." 

Those wishing to cast an accessible absentee ballot must first request a
standard absentee ballot at www.mnvotes.org/absentee [2]. Voters with
disabilities must then request an accommodation under the Americans with
Disabilities Act through the office of the county auditor. For assistance
finding a specific county, call 612-872-9363. After receiving a paper
ballot in the mail, voters will be emailed a link to the tool, where they
can complete and print the ballot. The printed ballot must then be returned
in the envelopes that were sent with the original standard paper ballot.
Only the printed ballot should be sent; the standard paper ballot should be

While some assistance is still needed to sign the ballot envelope, voters
have the option of keeping their choices secret for the upcoming election. 


The National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota (NFBMN), is an affiliate
of the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans.
Founded in 1920, NFBMN defends the rights of blind people of all ages,
provides information, and supports families with blind children, older
Americans who are losing vision, and others. We believe in the hopes and
dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality.
Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at www.nfbmn.org [3] 


Judy Sanders
 National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota
 jsanders.nfb at comcast.net 




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