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Disability Groups Promote Disability Access To Polling Places


This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week and advocates for the disabled are pushing to make sure voting is accessible for all. The national effort is called "Rev Up" to increase voter registration for people with disabilities.

Barbara Beckert with Disabilities Rights Wisconsin says people with disabilities often don't have the political clout to be heard... 

"...People with disabilities are under represented in the voting booth. This is a national effort that we are pleased to participate in to insure greater represenation for people with disabilities...."

It's estimated 340,000 people with disabilities are affected, but Beckert says when you include families and providers who are impacted, it's larger than that. She says decisions made by public officials deeply impact people with disabilities. Beckert says those voters need to know about the issues. She says the coalition is working with the League of Women Voters to help the disabled to get registered.

But Beckert says another aspect is physically being able to vote. New technology is changing some former practices...

"...We had an Automark Accessible Voting Machine for people to try out. This machine enables people who may be blind or have another disability that in the past they may have had to ask someone else mark their ballot for them. Using the Automark Machine, every voter has the right to vote in privacy and dignity as all of us have the right to...."

More information is available online at disabilityvote.org and on Facebook, look for Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition.

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