MADISON–The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired have launched an educational campaign to promote accessible voting technology.
Just in time for Disability Voting Rights Week (Sept. 12 to 16), LWVWI and WCBVI are working to educate voters on the use, benefits and availability of accessible voting equipment–for any and all voters. Accessible voting equipment includes machines that allow voters to fill out their ballot on a touch screen and enables people with disabilities to cast their ballot independently.
“Voting on this equipment is a great opportunity to be an ally with people with disabilities who use the equipment to vote privately and independently,” said WCBVI Executive Director Denise Jess. “Voters with and without disabilities can benefit from increased use and availability of this equipment.”
“This is a familiar process for people who already do things electronically such as banking or ordering groceries online,” said LWVWI Executive Director Debra Cronmiller. “The machines also reduce the risk of voters mismarking their ballot.”
These machines are secure, safe and accurate. They produce a paper ballot that is fed into the tabulator with all of the ballots. While the law requires every polling place to have this accessible voting equipment, poll workers are often not well-trained in using the equipment, and frequently it is not set up prior to the polls opening on Election Day.
“Increased use and appreciation of the machines will normalize their use and hopefully encourage election workers to have the equipment ready from the minute the doors at the polling place open,” said Denise Jess. “Ultimately, this will improve voting accessibility for all voters.”