Disabled Say Voting Access Still A Challenge

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

But some disabled advocates say the new Auto-MARK machines still aren’t good enough. California Foundation for Independent Living Center director Patricia Yeager says people with manual dexterity issues will have problems.

"If you can’t handle a ballot, if you don’t have the hand dexterity to actually pick up the ballot and put it in the machine. You will need someone to do that for you. That is not a private and independent vote."

Yeager says Direct Recording Election devices work for all disabled people. But the so-called DRE’s don’t comply with the state’s paper trail requirement.

Meantime, Sacramento County elections officials say the Auto-MARK machines meet the requirements set by the Help America Vote Act. The new terminals will be used at all 419 polling places throughout the county.